UR ENTERTAINED: Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Review

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UR ENTERTAINED: Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Written By: Josh Di Rocco – The Fourth Wall Critic
Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Saoirse Ronan, Jude Law, Adrien Brody, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, and so much more!
Rating: 5/5 Stars
The Grand Budapest Hotel is Wes Anderson’s latest whimsical adventure.  This elegantly constructed optical treat can be likened to a visually rich dessert.  Coated in a luxurious icing, in sumptuous shades of pink and purple, this ornate three-tiered European influenced delicacy is extremely appealing.  One might think that something that looks so decadent would be too sweet to enjoy.  This is not the case of The Grand Budapest Hotel!  Once the stylish outer layer has been pierced, you’ll find a pleasantly simple, moist vanilla heart that will leave you utterly satisfied and pondering on what its talented baker will serve up next.
Wes Anderson has his trademark stamp all over this production.  I will admit that his previous efforts have often left me perplexed.  Moonrise Kingdom is the perfect example of this.  The film has garnered critical acclaim, however it was included in my annual list of the worst films of 2012. That being said, I’ll say without hesitation that Anderson has a masterful way of creating a stunningly artistic scene.  His combination of cinematography, color choice, framing, and placement is genius and makes him a truly rare form of director. The primary issue I experienced with Moonrise Kingdom was an inability to form any connection with the main characters.  That problem has since been rectified in The Grand Budapest.
I went into this screening so desperately wanting to be converted to the church of Anderson and I was so glad to have my opinion changed after only one viewing.  The film excels on so many levels.  Visuals aside, the cast is impeccable, the story is captivating, the script eloquently written, and all elements combine to forge a wonderfully original feature that was so fun to watch.  Moreover, it contains a level of creativity that is severely lacking in modern cinema.
Ralph Fiennes puts on a remarkable performance as M. Gustave, the well-known concierge of the legendary hotel.  The plot follows Gustave and his new protégée (Tony Revolori) after one of his many rich lovers has mysteriously passed away.  The two make a visit to her home so that Gustave can pay his last respects, only to find that she had left him with her most prized possession through her living will; an infamous and extremely valuable renaissance painting entitled “Boy with Apple”.  As expected her family is furious and Gustave and his confidant have no choice but to steal the precious piece of artwork.  We then follow these two on an unpredictable journey through different landscapes, obstacles, and countless eccentric characters.  The casting is nothing short of a cinephile’s dream!  A-list talent appears from every corner of the screen, even if for only a few moments to dispense a couple comical lines.
Even though the visually stunning appearance of this film is a primary centerpiece in the lavish production, there is a deeper level of heart and emotion at the centre.  You genuinely care for these characters and root for their every step.  They’re individual idiosyncrasies make them so likeable.  Furthermore, the exuberance of the story is contrasted against the gloomy backdrop of the shifting political scene taking place throughout Europe at the time.
Wes Anderson has spared no expense in the creation of this film.  You can see his heart and soul on screen as he creates this beautifully intricate world of The Grand Budapest Hotel.  It’s a shame that the destination exists in imagination only, otherwise I would definitely visit this fantasy landmark on my next European adventure.  In reality however, we now have our own version of The Grand Budapest Hotel; a cinematic masterpiece that you should be sure to check-in to as soon as possible.
Josh Di Rocco regularly reviews and comments on the world of cinema from his perspective from the fourth wall (The “Fourth Wall” is a stage term that defines the space that separates a performer or performance from an audience). He is currently an active member of the arts scene in Toronto, Ontario. He regularly attends the Toronto International Film Festival and spends much of his spare time at the TIFF Bell Lightbox viewing new releases and admiring the classics.  His other passions include travel, style, music, and the theatre.  Follow Josh on both Instagram (@fourthwalljosh) and Twitter (@fourthwalljosh) for regular updates on the Hollywood scene, film reviews, award season, and commentary on everything cinema.

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