Wes Anderson: Grand Budapest Hotel

Grand Budapest HotelWords by Billie Jenkins

The Grand Budapest Hotel film experience could be likened to attending Miuccia Prada’s tenth birthday party. The luxurious popping colours, iconic textures, innumerable appearances by the famous and loved in equal measure (the right kind of famous though of course) and lots of cake. Ralph Fiennes, whom the lead role of head concierge Mr. Gustave was written, gives a hilarious and touching performance, which is so thoroughly British it makes The Sex Pistols look continental. On the surface it is an adventure through delicious colour and immaculate photography, punctuated by some really good props. There is a strangely tender heart to the story however. This surprisingly does not come from the friendship between Gustave and his Lobby boy Zero, which is sweet as pie when it crops up but almost felt as though the format required Gustav to pipe up with a comment that Zero was his surpassing protegee. The real moment of emotional resonance came from a repeated scene, almost tacked on the end of a story that could have been left at peace. In black and white, mid WWII the guards question Zero’s immigration papers, I won’t spoil it. But I cried, a moment’s thought for the common civility of everyday men and women despite the less that civil conflicts of their time was a message I never expected to take from a film as visually playful as those Early Learning Center paint spinners, but boy did it hit me.
The regular faces, all the regular faces, are there. I like to imagine them having ‘I’m in the Wes Anderson gang’ dinner parties where they all wear ties with patterns on that have secret meanings only each other know about, and get drunk on vodka and Kool Aid while Bill Murray makes a speech where he says the word ‘Monkfish’ as often as possible to a hysterical table. I will never know the truth about these dinners, but I do know it’s a pretty cool club to be in. All we mere mortals can hope to do though is keep watching. I’m going to see it again on the big screen before its wonder is resigned to the small box in my living room. I will be wearing the brightest silks I own and wedding cake hair a la Tilda Swinton.

Grand Budapest Hotel

Grand Budapest Hotel

Grand Budapest Hotel

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