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fonz's avatar


Wes Anderson has a unique style that is influenced by everything he has experienced in his lifetime. He is perhaps the best example of the auteur theory. He creates films that one would only need to view a few frames of to know instantaneously who is the creator.

I would like to imagine that all of his films take place in a single universe. For this reason, he makes films that are largely adored and attractive to his audience. The Anderson-verse is one in which we would all love to live in. One full of wit and airy whimsy. People aren't overtly cruel to each other, preferring to engage in pranks and mischief in which everyone has a laugh over.

To live in The Grand Budapest is to be momentarily frozen in time. A period that only dwells in the memory and imagination of those who know of its secluded existence. For me I would like to imagine that the hotel is the mirror image of Kubrick's Overlook Hotel. Winding maze-like corridors, distinctive carpet patterns, old-world charm. Whereas the Overlook was largely vacant during our stay there, we get to see the Grand near its prime and after time mostly forgets all about it. Both hotels are reflections of the world around them as well as of each other.

The influence of the caretaker or concierge is especially obvious. With Gustave H, the Grand flourishes. A grand facade that holds up all too well to cover the cracks in the foundations. But ultimately, nothing lasts forever and change happens whether we want it to or not. The spectacle of control we try to put forth will eventually dissipate when the reality we keep at bay checks-in for a night. And once it checks-out, nothing is ever the same. The grand chandelier is a bit dimmer, the champagne a touch less bubbly, the piano not as emotive.

However, I enjoyed my stay at the Grand Budapest and I shall return soon.
10 years 2 months ago
ThomasFTB's avatar



Of course it isn't meaningless. If you saw no meaning, you weren't looking properly.
It's a film about looking back, about nostalgia for an earlier time, and is both supportive and critical of it. The film revels in the fun and excitement of yesteryear, miring itself in the archaic, right down to its aspect ratio. It revels in the retro, delighting in the kind of plots over stolen artwork, cartoonish villainy and madcap chases that seem lost to modern film. Even the central macguffin of the movie is a painting, a preserved snapshot of something that no longer exists.
But it's also highly critical of looking back. The elder Zero keeps the Grand Budapest open, why? Out of nostalgia, of reverence for something long gone. But is he happy? Is he fulfilled? Of course not.
So YES, the film has meaning. It has something to say, a deeper motive to it. Several, if you want to dig deeper. If you choose not to, that's your loss.
10 years 2 months ago
burythehammer's avatar


One of the nice things about watching a Wes Anderson movie is I can be pretty sure I'm going to enjoy it.

Wes puts his trademark cinematography to hard work here - every scene looks perfectly, intricately laid out. Just like I imagine The Grand Budapest would be in real life, every shot of this movie feels expensive.

Ralph Fiennes is obviously the standout in the cast - the script is well-written but he brings it to life, proving he can work well as a comedic talent. A favourite scene is spoiler. Adrian Brody is excellent too, there's not nearly enough of his character.

So yes, another fine Wes Anderson picture. He seems to be moving from cult hero to becoming genuinely famous now, which is something that can only be encouraged.
9 years 6 months ago
Scratch47's avatar


A unfolding dessert, say a well designed cake, of a film, with a bittersweet center. Though there are works of greater substance in Anderson's catalogue, the perfectly enveloping Technicolour vistas are just a lush treat. Kudos to the production design, cinematography and editing. The ensemble cast all impress, but Ralph Fiennes truly leads the charge as the composed Gustav. It's not a work of tremendous drive or overwrought drama, the conflict always has a touch of the gently comedic, but it remains a dreamlike postcard from a forgotten time captured at its zenith, increasing Anderson's stylistic reach from the personal into the almost archetypal.
10 years 2 months ago
Siskoid's avatar


Wes Anderson's new film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is a crazy murder mystery set in an invented Slavic country of the type you'd find in Mission: Impossible or Tintin, and just about following those kinds of rules. It is wickedly funny, filled with strange and wonderful details, and features gorgeous and original art direction. Part of the fun is the wealth of cameos by known stars, some of them quite short indeed. The story's canvas is widened by framing tales that allow us to move through time to different eras in the hotel's life, each era represented visually by a different frame ratio and lenses corresponding to films of that era. The story really belongs to Ralph Fiennes as a super-competent (though unscrupulous) concierge Mr. Gustave, and his new bell boy Zero (Tony Revolori), who form a loyal bond, together through thick and thin. Filled with surprises and skewed comedy, TGBH is, just like the Hotel it portrays, a tribute to bygone eras of film-making, taking turns at being silly, violent, sad, funny, fantastical and cynical.
8 years 12 months ago
ReVision's avatar


Ralph Fiennes is just perfect in his role as M. Gustave. His character made me smile from start to finish and only once before have ever been so entertained by a single actor and film.

The other one being Peter O'Toole as T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia.
9 years 7 months ago
kaaaaaro's avatar


Gunness says: "Not nearly as funny as Moonrise Kingdom". I was laughing a lot as were a few other people at the cinema. But I fear the humour doesn't cater to as wide an audience which is why most people did not laugh 20% as much as I did. So Gunness is right and wrong with his assessment, but i go with Musanna.
10 years 3 months ago
Gunness's avatar


Vintage Wes Anderson, and probably his visually most elaborate piece yet. Not nearly as funny as Moonrise Kingdom or Rushmore, but the clever plot somewhat makes up for this.
The cast is stellar, but quite a few of them are of the blink-and-you'll-miss-them variety, which is a shame. Ralph Fiennes is terrific in the leading role, though.
10 years 4 months ago
dina_hepburn's avatar


Wes Anderson really outshined himself here, IMO.
In GBH you get his idiossincratic visual elements, the usual charismatic characters but also quite a few elements of surprise. Seriously, he just took it to a whole other level, he refined what he already does best while bringing something new to the table. Hats off to your, sir!
10 years 2 months ago
Musanna's avatar


Arguably Wes Anderson's greatest film yet.
10 years 3 months ago
fragmaster's avatar


This might possibly be my new favourite movie of all time. Admittedly, it's not as laugh-out-loud funny as Moonrise Kingdom (though there's still a myriad of hilarious moments), but Anderson seems to have perfected his unique style in TGBH. Perfect pacing, perfect cast, perfect comedic timing, incredible scenery (even the painted backdrops), immense attention to detail, a touch of surrealism. A story that manages to be epic, hilarious and at times touching. It pretty much has everything I could want from a film.
10 years 3 months ago
dpanter's avatar


"Clever, creative, beautiful, but meaningless."
Agreed, devilsadvocado. Truly.

Impeccably done, Wes. Still meaningless in all its beauty.

Recommended purely for cineasts and fans of Wes Anderson, others will likely want their 100 minutes back.
9 years 10 months ago
chunkylefunga's avatar


I went to see this a few weeks ago on a Saturday evening in South Kensington (West London) and the only people in my screening were my girlfriend and I.

I must admit it was quite nice having the cinema all to ourselves as I felt that it added to the beauty of the movie.
10 years 1 month ago
frankqb's avatar


As quirky, literate and Wes Anderson-like as you'd expect, The Grand Budapest Hotel is riotously funny, and clever. Save for a dead cat and some other violence, it is hard to take one's eyes off the screen. There's a few moments of muddled plot that don't make much sense, but no one seems to mind when there's such a display of acting talent and visual treats on screen.

10 years 1 month ago
moontopmountain's avatar


A very fun little world to be in! I had a riot watching this adventure, a very traditional minded caper film from Wes Anderson. I dare say the visuals threatened to overpower the film at times (and trust me, i'm crazy about pretty looking films) as i found myself looking for the line of symmetry or noticing similar compositions in each painstakingly designed shot at expense of story, but there are are many great jokes in this film and the modern scenes with F Murray Abraham are very poignant. The underlying darkness present in most Wes Anderson is especially prominent in TGBH, the Gustave H. character conceals a lonely sadness underneath his charm and cordiality - watch for the shot of him sitting silently in his peeling, tiny staff bedroom - and the mention of war is repeated consistently throughout the story but ignored by the characters until - well, you'll see for yourself. The nostalgia for the past is wistful and close to the tone found in Evelyn Waugh's books, along with the satirical take on upper class decorum. However above all else this is a very enjoyable film and one to rewatch and rediscover many times, like a candy coloured ribbon-wrapped box filled with tiny treasures.
10 years 3 months ago

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