Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Movie Name: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Year of Release: 2014
Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Lea Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Tony Revolori, Bob Balaban, Fisher Stevens
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8

Following the critical acclaim of "Moonrise Kingdom", Wes Anderson's new opus is a further exploration of his universe, filled with his traditional quirks and irreverence, all time capsuled perfectly in a period of time that no longer exists. The film follows the story of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. Monsieur Gustave is a playboy, who romances much older women. When one of them dies, and leaves him a renowned painting, he and his trusted aid go in pursuit of that inheritance.
Wes Anderson has created a style that is very much his own, and this film is a perfect example of all that his career has progressively built up. There's the retro setting and environment, the attention to detail, the large sprawling cast, which brings to life characters that are clearly archetypes, and the sense of humor and irony that permeates all of his stories. Where some of his previous films, such as "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" and "The Darjeeling Limited" attempted to build a bridge with a certain sense of reality (and his unifying sense of family), his latest endeavors, are definitely highly stylized films, ones that feature a very elaborate microcosms where each piece and element is clearly placed and designed to achieve a certain style and emotion. The film looks impeccable, and the cast is phenomenal, in particular the fantastic Ralph Fiennes. The film is deliciously assembled, but at the end, I couldn't help but wonder - will the director do something beyond this style in his next efforts?