Saturday, October 1, 2016

1008. The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Directed by Wes Anderson

Happy October everyone!  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, as it combines the best things in the world: horror movies and candy.  In honor of that sacred day, I am going to do several scary movie posts throughout the month.

Anyway, first we have to take care of this film.  I invited my sister to watch this with me, but she bailed halfway through.  Knowing that this was on the List, I bravely soldiered on alone.  The film is a story within a story within a story...I am not sure why this method was chosen.  Maybe it allowed for more celebrity cameos.  I am not sure if Wes Anderson just wanted to give his film more star power or if a lot of actors just wanted to be in a Wes Anderson movie, but this film is packed with cameos.  It was actually kind of distracting.  But I digress.

Monsieur Gustave is the Grand Budapest Hotel's concierge.  He attends to the sexual needs of many of the older guests of the hotel, but only if they are blonde (some things never change).  Gustave befriends a young lobby boy and takes him on as his protege.  One of Gustave's lovers die under mysterious circumstances, leaving him in possession of a priceless painting.  Naturally, Gustave is suspected of the murder.

I have enjoyed the previous Wes Anderson films on the List and was looking forward to this one.  I always loved how literary his movies were.  However, I think Anderson has become a bit too infatuated with his own style (I thought the same thing about The Hateful Eight if you recall).  This movie was just too much.  Too many moments were odd merely for the sake of being odd.  I felt like he was sacrificing a cohesive story for his own strange style.

At least the film looked beautiful and everyone in the (slightly overcrowded) cast was extremely talented.  Still, I should have kept track of how many times I rolled my eyes.  I might have set a record.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

First Wes Anderson film to win an Oscar.

Tilda Swinton spent ten hours in the make up chair everyday


  1. Interesting .. This has got me thinking a lot about how i feel about it. I saw that this was today's film, and was intrigued what you would make of it, and felt an initial disappointment to see you give it only 3 stars.
    When I saw it at the cinema, I loved it.. the quirkiness absolutely worked for me, and I felt I'd had a very enjoyable evening. Maybe that was helped by a moderately busy evening in our small, fairly intimate local arts centre with an audience who seemed to enjoy it as well.
    But ..when it was on TV recently, I dipped into it an found most of the magic just wasn't there,and I felt I saw, rather like you did, a sense of style over content, a bit of 'look what I'm doing, I do quirky oddball films which make you feel clever for getting'. I sort of felt the humour was a bit contrived, a bit forced.
    So which one was my real feeling?
    For now I think I will go for liking it more than you did, and treasuring the night I first saw it, but perhaps reserving full judgement after time has worked on it as is it a 1001 film..

  2. I have to agree with Ray's first assessment--quirky and enjoyable. I thought it was fun and silly and I really, really liked it. I have only seen it once, so perhaps I will make note of Ray's experience and not try to watch it a second time. then I can remember it fondly. I thought it was at least 4 stars! 😊

  3. Thanks Diane .. Yes, that seems a good idea ..I was very disappointed to see it - or rather bits of it - again. Relish the first great fun watching.

  4. I absolutely love this film...after repeated viewings it has become one of my total favourites! I think it's warm and funny and totally unique, with a killer performance from Ralph Fiennes. I am a really big Wes fan though. The only film of his that beats this one for me is the Tenenbaums.

    I don't think he's become infatuated with his own style though the film is very very stylised. I maybe am being biased as I do love him but I do think he has got carried away in the past. I don't know if you've seen Moonrise Kingdom? I really didn't like that one because I thought the characters were quirky for the sake of being quirky and I stopped believing they were really people- they just felt like characters someone had created. So I think he definitely is guilty of this on occasion but with Budapest I thought rather than it being all style over substance it was actually a coming together of all his previous themes, quirks and visuals into one big grand idea. His films are not usually as big as this one and I really think he just went all out...he went big and over the top and it really worked for me :)

  5. ashley .. I'm pretty much with you on 'Moonrise' .. I wouldn't go as far as active dislike, but more 'not all that bothered ..'