The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

Too often have I referenced Wes Anderson’s filmography as something transcendent – a wholly unique body of work that never ceases to amaze in nearly every aspect of contemporary cinema, his honed and overtly singular, moreover all-encompassing panache doing wonders for each production. While I knowingly throw the word “singular” around a bit too frequently, redundancy is certainly not my aim as Anderson confidently epitomizes the term. In the case of The Grand Budapest Hotel, we predictably find the auteur in top form as his tale involving one Monsieur Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) – renowned concierge at the titular establishment – spans the duration of the individual’s at-first-tentative but eventually long-lasting friendship with lobby boy Zero (Tony Revolori).

Rife with detail and benchmarked by a signature aesthetic, every second of every minute of The Grand Budapest Hotel oozes something of note, whether it’s an expected chunk of laudable set design or alternating bits of whip-smart and hilarious dialogue. For those familiar with a bulk of his contributions to the medium, Anderson’s world-building tendencies have always lent themselves wonderfully to his vision, an aptly implemented adherence to detail via composition, narration and the like perpetuating his notoriety with ease. In this case, the establishment of the Grand Budapest’s legacy in conjunction with its most revered concierge are ceaselessly engaging as charm compliments a multifaceted narrative worthy of  praise.

As outlandishness remains a constant and undeniably entertaining trademark, the film tends to venture into some noticeably dark territory as a core mystery involving one of Gustave’s late mistresses unravels. Eventually serving as the narrative’s sole impetus, Anderson’s finesse in presenting the ensuing and increasingly dire fiasco proves more than effective as sheer engagement rarely ceases. From chapter to chapter, The Grand Budapest Hotel‘s eclectic mix of quirky, semi-broad humor, intelligence and tangible if latent emotionality rarely falter in achieving their admirable intentions.

Although specifics have perceptibly taken a backseat to my gushing, I can assure you that Wes Anderson’s latest will wholly satisfy any and all fans of his previous work. Whether you consider yourself a valuable part of said fanbase or not, there’s no denying the individual’s sheer creative prowess within the medium, more specifically one of such an astonishingly dexterous note. From obvious emotion in its addressing of the core relationship between Gustave and Zero to intended shock value, suspense and wit, The Grand Budapest Hotel is truly a welcome rarity in 2014’s still-sparse canon of theatrical do-wells, its creator’s aesthetically-inclined presentation of an alternate fantastical sect of history doing wonders for filmgoers of all types.


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