There’s a few director and actor names that cause rabid film enthusiasts to start foaming at the mouth immediately when they are spoken of. Wes Anderson is one of these names. I’m sadly not acquainted with much of his work except Moonrise Kingdom which I thought was phenomenal.
However, I’m extremely comfortable with saying that The Grand Budapest Hotel is even better.
There is an ungodly amount of celebrities casted into this movie, but Ralph Fiennes‘s character is the primary focus of the story, and he is fantastic. The entire film is well-acted, but aside from Fiennes and a few others, there’s not necessarily a performance that sticks out as groundbreaking.
But this fact is entirely irrelevant because in Wes Anderson movies, the entire set seems to be its own character. Every single shot in this movie is meticulously well crafted in regards to dialogue, lighting, color schemes, choreography, and cinematography. Every single action and setting in this movie is inescapably interesting.
This includes scenes where two people are just walking from one place to another. Anderson somehow knows how transform the mundane into something that you cannot take your eyes off of.
One of the primary reasons for this is because of the extreme intentionality in Anderson’s choice of colors. Every single color scheme compliments or contrasts the other colors in the shot so effortlessly that it is a massive challenge to take your eyes off of the screen. There isn’t a single other director I know of that is able to do this to films. The only person I can think of that comes close is Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, and even then, I don’t think that’s much of a comparison (this coming from someone who thought La La Land was the best movie of 2016).
One of the things I kept thinking about during my viewing of the movie was that The Grand Budapest Hotel is guilty of quite a few of my movie pet-peeves. One of those pet peeves is when movies slap words on a screen that tell you about where and when the scene takes place (as opposed to allowing the scene to tell you what’s going on based on context). But this movie was so intentional and transformative with these word titles that I never felt annoyed with them being there.
In fact, this movie is so awkward and occasionally unrealistic as well, but again, there was never a single moment where any of this bothered me because every decision in the movie felt wholly intentional. Every time I found something that I wasn’t sure if I was okay with, my mind immediately thought, “but there’s a definitive reasoning for it.”
This movie is extremely hilarious, quaint, and heartfelt in its entirety. This movie is an experience unlike any other film except for maybe other movies made by Wes Anderson. I would have to watch his other movies before I’m certain, but I can see the man being my favorite director of all time. This is a fantastic work of cinematic art, and I feel like any words that I can use won’t do it justice.