“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Review

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“Are you Gustave H. of The Grand Budapest Hotel?”

Wow. I don’t even know what to say. This film more than once caused my jaw to hit the floor. Not only because of the visuals, but the actors, the suspense, and the fun on display. Not only is this Wes Anderson’s greatest work to date, but it also proves that he is the master of mise-en-scène and quirk. With all of his familiar actors, themes, and looks, Wes Anderson delivers an undeniably gorgeous and breathtaking piece of filmmaking.

Ralph Fiennes, who plays Gustave H., is outstanding here. He fits perfectly with Anderson’s tone and quirk, giving us quite possibly Wes’ best character to date (in my opinion). Every line of dialogue he delivers works and he is easily the best character in the film. But, that doesn’t mean every else is sub-par. In fact, no one is bad or even mediocre.

Willem Dafoe is terrifying and dangerous as one of Madame D.’s sons. Her other son, played by Adrien Brody, is also menacing, but has a goofy-looking mustache and is VERY over-the-top. Both of these characters are a few of the other major standouts. Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel, and Owen Wilson are also great, I just wish they were in the film more.

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Now, onto the film’s look. This is easily Wes’ most visually-pleasing film thus far. Every single set, whether it’s a prison, a snow-covered mountain, or The Grand Budapest Hotel itself, all of them have a distinct, colorful look to them, leaving the audience in awe at it’s gorgeous visuals. Oh, and I absolutely loved the changing aspect ratios for each different time period. That was a wonderful addition.

Now, what sets this film higher up than the rest of Wes’ filmography is the story. Wes’ films have never really been driven by their plots, but usually their characters. This film actually has a compelling story and I love a suspenseful mystery, which this film has. It’s safe to say this is his darkest film to date as well. Yeah, Royal Tenenbaums had a very dark scene, but this film has a more consistent dread looming over it. And it thankfully doesn’t try to be too “cute” like some of Wes’ other films (cough Moonrise Kingdom cough).

This is why I love going to the movies. With a full house of Wes Anderson fans, a compelling story, a powerhouse cast, unbelievably sharp dialogue, and beautiful visuals, I don’t think I could have asked for a better film. Even though I really liked most of his films, I never really considered myself a Wes Anderson fan. After The Grand Budapest Hotel, I think it’s safe to say that I’m now a fan and can’t wait to see what he decides to do next.

“I go to bed with all of my friends.”

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5 out of 5

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