The Grand Budapest Hotel

March 17, 2014 at 1:22 pm | Posted in 2014, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ½

Wes Anderson appears to be hitting his stride.  His last three films: this one, “Moonrise Kingdom” and “The Fantastic Mr Fox,” manage to be the best of what you expect from a Wes Anderson film, which is to say, you will either love it or hate it. His mix of absurdity and whimsy is definitely not for everyone but, if you love him, you will love this. He sadly stumbled a bit with “The Life Aquatic” and “The Darjeeling Limited,” somehow managing to make the films seem twee rather than whimsical and pretentious rather than absurdist fun. However, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” almost rises to the level of “Moonrise Kingdom” with its brilliant visuals and joyfully convoluted plot. This is caper movie in the grand tradition of caper movies, owing as much to the “Muppet” movies as it does to the likes of “The Sting” or “The Thomas Crown Affair.” The plot is ridiculous but of course it is. You don’t see a Wes Anderson film for a nuanced plot; you see it for ridiculous dialogue, deadpan acting and weirdly wonderful visuals and this film has all of those in spades. It’s a lot of fun to see all the Anderson regulars here: Bill Murray, Jason Schwarzman, Owen Wilson, Bob Balaban, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton and Harvey Keitel, all clearly enjoying the hell out of themselves. In addition, they are joined by the usual gaggle of the odd and unexpected: Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Jeff Goldblum, Fisher Stevens (!), Tom Wilkinson, Saoirse Ronan, F. Murray Abraham and the newly hot Léa Seydoux (“Blue is the Warmest Color”). Everyone is great in their roles, however large or small, though Fiennes and Dafoe were the real joys to watch. Tony Revolori, the heretofore unknown 17 year old who places the main character, “Zero,” also did a fantastic job in what I hope is a breakout role for him. It can’t be easy to step into a film like this, that requires a real knack for comic timing, but he was up to the task.  Wes Anderson’s movies will never be lauded on Oscar night but thoseof us who truly love film have great respect for the voice that is uniquely his.



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  1. Oh, great. I’ve been looking forward to seeing this one.

  2. […] The Grand Budapest Hotel […]

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