Movie Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a very odd duck, the feature directed by Wes Anderson and starring an ensemble of famous faces, most notably: Ralph Fiennes as the manager of the titular hotel, M.Gustav and  Tony Revolori as Zero, the lobby boy.

The plot revolves around the death of one of Gustav’s elderly lovers and her subsequent will. A famous painting is left in the custody of Gustav and because of this, her extended family wishes to prise it from his hands, preferably for them, cold and dead. As the country in which the Grand Budapest Hotel is situated is  on the brink of war, chaos ensues as Gustav and Zero pull of a daring heist and deal with the consequences of their actions in pretty stylish fashion.

Speaking of, this film drips style, the film is garish and yet often adopts pastel tones. The centre of the frame is lovingly lavished, leaving the area outside of the focal point of the camera not much to work with and Anderson obviously found a sense of childish whimsy in constantly setting up once scene and then panning the camera to the right to reveal something else. It happens a lot .

The film overall is very fun, however not all the jokes land and the borderline obscene devotion to the films style can be distracting at times, but the film gets brownie points in my mind for finding a theme and running with it, much like the works of Edgar Wright and Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Anderson finds that much can be done regarding painting a picture in film and story telling by thinking outside of the box with camera positioning and movement. So, although the story sometimes feels slightly slapdash, although occasionally on purpose and the direction can be distracting, I would definitely recommend The Grand Budapest Hotel, even for the novelty of it’s aesthetics alone.

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