Movie Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)



wit1Opulent. Once again a delightful journey’s Wes Anderson style. Picturesque, humourous, impeccable frames, caricature characters that told the eventual downfall of a great era, the aristocracy, that no longer existed. In its replacement was the stale plastic cold interior of a typical communist bureau, reflected in the transformation of the opulent grand lobby of a grand hotel that once was. Three main stories ran parallel around the time before and the starting of An occupation: a love story, a nostalgia, and a whodunit.

An established author (Tom Wilkinson) recounts the story of a story of how he started his most famous and beloved novel, The Grand Budapest Hotel. It takes the form of a narration from Mr. Moustafa(F. Murray Abraham) to the younger version of the author( Jude Law) in the dining hall of the hotel now set with round dining tables of equal size and equal distance among them. The old time glamourous guests are now replaced with old worn out solitude. So it begins over the dinner between them two.

There is the story between the sensitive, graceful, blonde-cougar chaser, M. Gustave(Ralph Fiennes), the Concierge and his protége Lobby Boy, Zero(Tony Revolori). The one between Zero and the innocent pastry apprentice, Agatha(Saoirse Ronan – Hanna ), and the one with the widow aristocrat Madame D.(Tilda Swinton – completely unrecognizable), her untimely death, her last will and testament that leads to the hungers and hunt for her inheritance headed by her son, Dmitri(Adrien Brody) with the helps of his psychopathic sidetick, Jopling(Willem Dafoe). Jeff Goldblum‘s Deputy Kovacs is both lawyer to the estate and the hotel. Léa Seydoux (Blue Is the Warmest Color ) is Clotilde, the housemaid. Then there are the stable cast of Anderson’s actors: Bill MurrayEdward NortonJason Schwartzman ,Owen Wilson, and Waris Ahluwalia(The Darjeeling Limited ).

I like the consistency of Anderson’s style in his films. Each one has its own specific colour palette. This one was certainly in pastel with heavy overtone of rosé in his designs: the hotel, the pâtisserie, and the pastry carton. The invasion turned the pastel colours into strong, vivid solid red and black. The hotel uniform was a vibrant aubergine, and the current hotel is the communist orange… there is no different from walking through an art collections in a museum, and sensing the moods of the painter and the environment he tried to convey.

Then he always has those quirky dialogues that alleviate the scene and infuse them into the background scenery with colours and caricature movements that fuse into one’s memory: the trembling hands of Madame X from anxiety, and the off-kilter remark from M.Gustave, “Old dear, those nail colour…”  inside a Versaille style drawing room.

In other words, Anderson’s films are sensory titillator that offers utmost pleasure and relaxation that I find rare, especially in an era where most films are overloaded with pulsating headache inducing light show of destructions. 



9 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

  1. Pingback: Movie Review: Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013) | Film-o-analysis

  2. Pingback: Movie Review: Snowpiercer(2013) | Film-o-analysis

  3. Nice review. I love the way Anderson uses colours and background details to add further depth to the stories he is telling. I think Grand Budapest may be the best example of his style so far. One of my favourite movies this year.


  4. Amen. Anderson’s use of color really is striking in this flick, especially because it changes when the era changes. I can’t decide if I like this one, Moonrise Kingdom or Tenenbaums more, but Grand Budapest is close to my favorite Anderson film. That’s much is certain.


    • Haven’t seen Rushmore and Royal Tenebaums yet, and still working on Life Aquatic; Otherwise, he is one of my favourite directors that I can identify his style. The other is my favourite French director, François Ozon.


      • I haven’t seen anything by Ozon. I’ll check him out. Rushmore and Tenenbaums are both excellent – I think the latter a touch better. Life Aquatic is, in my opinion, easily his worst movie. I’d give it a C, probably (it is the only thing he’s ever made I wouldn’t give at least a B-minus).

        So . . . Anderson is also one of my favorite directors. 🙂


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