THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL | THE REVIEW

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL is the new Wes Anderson film that is unique, as are all his films, and completely unconventional, while at the same time, always applauded by audiences, always extremely entertaining and films from this film maker I could watch until the end of time. I will come right out and say it, I preferred Anderson’s MOONRISE KINGDOM as a film that I thought had more heart and more love and a more engaging plot but in Anderson style he has improved his film making style and created a full blown farcical comedy in GBH that still comes out as a perfect scoring film for me. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL is out now, it runs for exactly 100mins and is rated M. 

 

REVIEW BY  

 

the grand budapest hotel, ralph fiennes, wes anderson, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, wes anderson unique film style, jason king, film review
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | THE MOVIE POSTER

 

Though it may not look like as grandiose today, fifty or so years ago there was no place grander than The Grand Budapest Hotel. We meet a young writer (), who is researching the hotel for an upcoming book. As luck would have it, he is informed that the hotel’s owner, Mr. Moustafa (Abraham) is on the premises. A quiet man, Mr. Moustafa visits often and when he does, insists that he lodge in a small room in the employee quarters. Mr. Moustapha invites our young writer to join him for dinner and, over wine, tells him the story of the majestic hotel.

As the second World war rages across Europe, we are introduced to Mr. Gustave (Fiennes), the concierge of the Grand Budapest Hotel. Gustave is in charge of everything and when he’s not looking out for the needs of the guests, Gustave is looking out for the needs of the lady guests, preferably the elderly ones. He gives them pleasure and, when they pass on to a better place, they give him a piece of their estate. As we meet Gustave he has just hired a young man (Revolori) to be the hotel’s newest Lobby Boy. Things go well until Gustave learns that one of his favourite guests (an unrecognisable ) has passed away. He attends the reading of the will and learns that he has been left a priceless painting. However, the late woman’s children, led by a wild eyed Adrien Brody, protest. Realising his chances of getting the painting legally are close to non existent, Gustave, with the assistance of his trusted Lobby Boy, Zero, steal the painting. And the rollicking craziness ensues.

 

the grand budapest hotel, ralph fiennes, wes anderson, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, wes anderson unique film style, jason king, film review
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | MADAME D. (TILDA SWINTON)

 

The film is all Anderson and the stand out in all his films, besides everything else, is the art direction and visual layout. It breaks nearly all “laws” of film making, but doesn’t just break them, it embraces them and this is why it is GOLD. Namely Anderson has to be OCD, every single shot is perfectly symmetric, balanced and the main subject is always centre on, or if not, at 90 or 180 degrees. I discovered there is a term for his style of film making – it is called PLANIMETRIC FILMING (named by art historian Heinrich Wölfflin) and is based solely on rectangular geometry – or in my technical terms, OCD, perfectly squared and clean EVERYTHING.  It has also been described in its raw form of having a background and then everything else being like characters or items on a clothesline that move left or right. This is most evident in a lot of the distance shots of gondolas, or bridges, or the trains, or hell, most of the external shots in GBP. He also always has the most distinct palettes in his films and everything is suited to mood and everything in the film always sticks to the palette. It has not been updated for GBP and I do apologise if I am babbling about technical qualities of the film but Anderson films are technical marvels that must be studied to no end at films schools – and for those interested here is The Colour Palette according to Wes Anderson Films – excluding THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, but from this you can work out his palette. It should be noted it is the first film to contain both red and pink in the palette :). The palette is so strong in this film I was reminded of two French films I absolutely adore, DELICATESSEN and THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE AND HER LOVER. Just stunning films for palette and set design if you have not seen them. (My god I sounded all snobby there dropping French films for comparison – nice work JK). 

 

the grand budapest hotel, ralph fiennes, wes anderson, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, wes anderson unique film style, jason king, film review, colour paletter according to wes anderson films
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | COLOUR PALETTE ACCORDING TO WES ANDERSON FILMS

 

On top of this his use of models and a sense of everything being a diorama makes Anderson films otherworldly, someone I read recently said something along the lines of “his frame placement sees the characters seeing out of the film,” – to me this makes perfect sense. While we look into the dioramic world of an Anderson film the characters in those worlds are all looking out, making us a character in the films.

Another winner in Anderson films, that makes it so easy for his actors is the writing, it is always so quirky, so whitty and most of the time, A Grade Bonkers. This film Anderson and (co-writer) Hugo Guinness (in his first writing attempt) have based the film and script on the works of Austrian author Stefan Zweig who died in 1942. It should be noted Zweig has 69 works for future Anderson inspiration and I am now very interested in Zweig. One thing I love about the writing, and more so its delivery, is that everything is said matter of factly and quickly, it is always yes, bam, thank you man, even in one scene where Mr. Gustave gives zero a rolling soliloquy about the world at present following them being roughed up by the Nazis, he gives up halfway and, I believe, he says “oh fuck it,” and sips his drink. It never takes itself too seriously and while the film is a comical murder mystery at its centre the film is set at the start of the “Nazi” occupation, well quasi re-named Nazis in a quasi fictional town that represents Austria but the underlying effect of WWII is definitely a vibe to the film and beginning of change to everyone’s world and the world of The Grand Budapest Hotel.

 

the grand budapest hotel, ralph fiennes, wes anderson, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, wes anderson unique film style, jason king, film review
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL | ZERO (TONY REVOLORI) DRAWING ON HIS MOUSTACHE

 

Now the acting in the film is just A Grade, top notch bonza stuff. First of all there is all the regulars in this film, but all in smaller roles. , Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman and stepping in for Angelica Huston is the most unrecognisable and just stunningly superb as always, Tilda Swinton. Then we have Jude Law, F. Murray Abraham, , , Harvey Keitel, Tom Wilkinson, Edward Norton and Saoirse Ronan. The support cast is one of the best casts ever assembled but then at its head you have two amazing talents, one of them, , a master actor with oodles of films under his belt, most notably of late, the commercial role of Lord Voldermort but Fiennes is a classical actor of an endless supply of talent and came to be known with his breakout performance as the head of the evil Nazis in Schindler’s List. What has been lacking in his career is his range of comedic talent and this film it oozes from him. His timing, use of vulgarity and delivery had the senior citizens seated all around me in the sold out session in stitches. His character is all manners and perfection in the classical style of being a concierge but honestly, that mouth of his is straight from a trucker :). Thank god we got Fiennes in this role, Anderson’s first choice was Johnny Depp but I suppose as Tim Burton wasn’t directing we missed out on this one (thanks Thor). And his immediate support, his sidekick, his Lobby Boy, Zero, Tony Revolori, is the perfect balance to the duo, a dedicated follower who will do anything for Mr. Gustave. The two of them are one of the best comedic pairings I have seen for years. LOVED.

 

the grand budapest hotel, ralph fiennes, wes anderson, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, wes anderson unique film style, jason king, film review
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL | ZERO (TONY REVOLORI) AND AGATHA (SAOIRSE RONAN) LAND SAFELY IN THE MENDL’S VAN

 

And for something completely different to end on – the staff at Mendl’s, Zubrowka’s premiere patisserie, show you how to make their legendary “courtesan au chocolat”, as enjoyed my M. Gustave and all those at THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL.

 

 

The film is a work of art, a work of quaint, charming genius and if you don’t race out to see it you’re a mug. Thanks for reading!

 

JK’S POP SCORE:

5 Pops

KERNEL ANDREW’S POP SCORE:

5 Pops

KERNEL DARA’S POP SCORE:

4 Pops

 KERNEL CLAIRE’S POP SCORE:

4 Pops