The Grand Budapest Hotel

Rated: R

        Wes Anderson, the writer/director of The Grand Budapest Hotel, was one of those directors who’s style is very recognizable, but who’s name I didn’t know until fairly recently. Now that I know his name and have seen all but one of his films I have to admit that I am a pretty big fan. I’ve never been exactly sure what it is about Anderson’s movie making style that draws me in, but whatever it is, it seems I’m hooked for life. Which leads me to one thing I do know for sure: as far as Wes Anderson and his films go, it seems you can be one of two people…love ‘em or hate ‘em. There really isn’t an in between, at least as far as I’ve seen.

                The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the extraordinary tale of Gustave, the hotel’s legendary concierge and his recently hired protégé, Zero, as they fight for Gustave’s innocence following the death of a wealthy hotel guest, as well as struggle to maintain the opulence the hotel’s guests are accustomed to in between world wars.

                With a total of 4 Golden Globe nominations and one win and a total of 9 Oscar nods, The Grand Budapest Hotel is Wes Anderson’s most acclaimed work yet and many are saying that it’s his best to date.  I don’t fully agree as far as it being his best film, (I think Moonrise Kingdom takes that cake), but I’m pretty sure I know why people think that. As I mentioned before, Anderson’s style is such that most people either like his work or hate it. The Grand Budapest Hotel, while still staying true to that dreamy, eccentric feeling that fans have grown to love, has a deeper thoughtfulness to it while avoiding the sometimes arrogant and pompous feel of some of Anderson’s other films.

                Another reason why this film may be a little higher on the radar is that Anderson chose different actors for his 2 leads. His traditional mainstays are still present, but with smaller parts. Owen Wilson, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Adriene Brody and Bill Murray are still there, while Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori have the leads in this one. 

                I found in reading other’s reviews of this film that a good number of them seem to mention desert at one point or another. They say things like “this film is like a beautiful desert that you don’t want to eat, but once you do it’s even better,” and “it’s so delicious you might end up licking your screen.” I’m not sure if they all read one person’s review and then couldn’t get the metaphor of food out of their heads; and I could go on to say something like “this film was a feast for the eyes as well as the soul,” but I’m not going to. Instead I’m just going to tell you that this is a film that is fully enjoyable, beautifully crafted and one that will be cherished as a new favorite, if only you’ll give it a chance.

                Before seeing this movie I urge you all to visit and then Going to the “academy”and visiting the "Zubrowka Film Commission" websites before seeing the movie are sure to increase both your understanding and your enjoyment of this film.

                The Grand Budapest Hotel is rated R, was written and directed by Wes Anderson and stars Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori. Its available now on Blu Ray, DVD and digital download.