You gotta love Netflix when it has at least ONE Best Picture nomination available. Not being sarcastic if thats what you are reading. I’m pretty happy that there’s even one. Seeing as I’ve been talking about seeing American Sniper and never actually made it to the theatres, maybe this week?
The Grand Budapest Hotel looks a little peculiar and that totally has to do with the fact that this is the first Wes Anderson film I’ll be seeing. Shocked? Don’t be…I still have a lot of movies to watch 😉
Let’s check this Oscar contender out!
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (2014)
Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Tom Revolori, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton, Jude Law, F. Murray Abraham, Jeff Goldblum
The adventures of Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), a legendary concierge at a famous hotel from the fictional Republic of Zubrowka between the first and second World Wars, and Zero Moustafa (Tom Revolori), the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.-IMDB
Oh, the adventures Monsieur Gustave has! The Grand Budapest Hotel is a little peculiar to say the least, exactly the impression I got. The deal with a peculiar movie is that it can either be to your taste or not, or should I say mine. Although, I have to say that it takes a little time to adapt to and there was always this feeling gnawing at me a little that something was off, it was hard to not be charmed by this movie. For one, look at the colors and the visuals, just wow. The whole set was such a joy to watch. I’m not just talking about The Grand Budapest Hotel itself, but also when him and Zero was on the train, the scenery of the mountains and the whole action plus the costumes. Every component was thought through with so much detail that it was really hard to ignore. However, I have to stay true that while it may be a favorite for many, I’m a little half-half on this. While some 30% of the movie felt a little random and dragged out, the other 70% (mostly the second half) was really fun to watch, adding in bit of humor and just drowning in its own unique style. The atmosphere it sets for itself is definitely one thats artistic and quirkly but somehow still really entertaining.
The cast portraying each of the characters happened to be some of my favorites, let me elaborate a little. For one, we start off with our narrators and how the recount of Monsieur Gustave H. was introduced during a dinner between an older Zero (who looks nothing like the younger version) and an author played by Jude Law. This is where I first swoon a little. Jude Law himself made me intrigued when this movie started. He’s really just the backdrop of this event and the listener to the story that the elder Zero shares. Right off the bat, the encounter already shows that this movie is going to be in the whole definition of awkward.
Let me clarify before we move forward that awkward doesn’t bother me, I watch a ton of movies like that and I like them. What I’m saying is that if not for these characters who made the awkwardness convincingly fun, I would have just closed this 30 minutes in.
Another showstopper is our own Monsieur Gustave. Ralph Fiennes is a fine actor and we see it over and over again. Sure, he’s not much of a comedian, which begs why he was chosen for this role but in his seriousness, we can laugh at exactly that because the movie itself really isn’t all that serious. Which also makes this one of Ralph Fiennes best comedic roles surprisingly proving that he can do it. Ralph is awesome (I’m sure most of us agree) and him as Monsieur Gustave is so much fun but that has to do with the interactions he has and the music they match with the scenes as well. Here’s where I need to talk about young Zero played by Tom Revolori. I don’t know this guy at all but he made this hilarious expressions. The relationship and interaction between Monsieur Gustave and Zero was another great aspect.
I personally think that Willem Dafoe is so underrated as an actor. Has he won anything in his career? He is in a lot of really great roles, at least he has to talent to even make a role in a bad movie work out most of the time (at least what I remember). As the assassin here, he has this dangerous feeling to him and yet, he plays well with the whole black humor portion. His boss, being Dmitri, a rich boy played by Adrien Brody just charms my pants off. I love Adrien Brody so much. This guy needs to be in more movies (or I just need to search out more of his work). Whatever it is, as horrible as those two characters are, gosh, they are some awesome bad dudes in The Grand Budapest Hotel.
There’s a huge talented cast here and I can’t possibly go through everyone (which I almost have). Edward Norton is also in this as the military officer Henckels but his role is relatively small and Jeff Goldblum is the executor of the will (also a smaller role), but my focus right now was seeing Saoirse Ronan *double checks the spelling*. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Saoirse Ronan. I’ve seen a lot of the movie’s she’s been in and she is just so talented. Her role may not have been big as Agatha but she sheds this light on the movie that the other darker characters don’t have. At the same time, it introduces the intricate details of Mendl’s desserts that I kind of wanted to pull out of the screen and taste. Just to show the attention to detail to this quirky movie.
Overall, I’m not as big of a fan of The Grand Budapest Hotel as others may be, but there is no doubt that the visuals and style steals the show here. The talented cast also lifts this movie into an incredible territory. While the story and pacing of the story held me only a part of the time, there is no doubt that I understand why this is a contender for Best Picture. Its extremely unique and there is a whole wow factor going on here. Just the second half made me forget about even the little bit of problems I felt in the beginning. Is it a movie I’d revisit? Maybe not often but there is something here that deserves recognition. I haven’t seen enough of the other choices to make my predictions, maybe as I get a few more movies in this week, I’ll have a clearer idea 🙂
Have you seen The Grand Budapest Hotel? What are your thoughts? Were you impressed with the cast in this? Did you love the whole set and atmosphere?