The Grand Budapest Hotel: A Glimmer of Civilization Among the Dung

Posted: June 18, 2014 in Movies


The Grand Budapest Hotel is Wes Anderson’s  attempt at making an action flick, although one with meticulous framing, set design and a vibrant color scheme, and rapid fire dialogue straight from a screwball comedy.  The Russian doll plot jumps between time frames (1932, 1965 and 1985) telling the adventures of the Grand Budapest’s head concierge M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes finding his impeccable comic vibe) and his lobby boy Zero (Tony Revolori a deadpan find) and his battle with a family of eccentrics searching for a famous painting.

Fiennes has never been this animated and energized or able to carry off this many deceptions and personae with aplomb.  He is effortless in this juggling act.

TGBHst is Wes Anderson’s most classically funny films.  It makes you laugh but also reminds you of the pain, the tragedy, the aching nostalgia and terrible history behind all the humor.   The Hotel is an echo “a glimmer of civilization in the barbaric slaughterhouse we know as humanity,” as Gustave notes a few times.   Anderson embraces and mourns the nostalgia forever struggling to capture and fix its vanished world.  TGBH is a refute to the Anderson haters that find no soul or story in all the fussy framing and design.

Anderson takes a swipe at darkness and almost gives into the tragedy only to pull back.  He can and always chooses life and lightness, always leave breaths of margin between him and the edge.  

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