There was no doubt that Wes Anderson’s latest offering ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ was at the top of Screenqueens’ 2014 ‘Must See’ list, due to our undying excitement we decided to conduct a group review so no fights ensued over who got the pleasure of reviewing it.
JOANNA: Unbelievable. Just so, so good. The whole movie was like an elaborate wedding cake, like everything was made of frosting. Despite subject matter, everything Wes Anderson produces is undeniably his; everything is so precise and just the way it should be. The dialogue was fast and blunt and hilarious, as ever. And it goes without saying that costumes, scenery and all aesthetics were as close to perfect as possible.
The cast was incredible. When I watched the ad back in October, my jaw genuinely dropped and I had to rewatch it several times in order to fully appreciate it. Adrien Brody and Ralph Fiennes definitely made it for me, but everyone was golden. I would have loved to see more of Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman, but a film can only be so long I guess. However, the cast definitely didn’t excel girl-wise with only two “important” speaking females (Tilda Swinton and Saorise Ronan were amazing though).
I’ve spent the last couple days on a high after watching it and I’m just so happy that I get to grow up watching films by such a wonderful director. Wes 4 lyf.
CRISTINA: When The Grand Budapest Hotel cut to the credits, my mouth was left gaping. My eyes stayed glued to the screen, even though there was nothing left to see. I desperately wished for more. Everything about this film was beautiful: the color scheme, the set design, the props, the costumes, the lighting, the soundtrack–everything. Wes Anderson is able to transport his viewers into a fantastical world, but a fantastical world that is filled with raw issues. The neat, symmetrical shots (even the violent ones that caused this film to be R-rated) contrast with the dark, twisted dialogue and plot; Anderson has once again been able to capture the idea that people’s lives may look perfect on the exterior, while in reality, their lives are crumbling. If you haven’t seen the film, remember to savor every single shot. It blows my mind when I think about how meticulous the planning process must have been. Yes, Anderson makes similar stylistic choices in each of his films, but this one was overstimulating to the point that my eyes started to water. So, basically, you’ll experience Stendhal Syndrome when you watch it. This film deserves 5/5 stars because duh.
REBA: Listening to other people’s dreams is the most boring thing ever, but after watching this, I would happily sit and listen to Wes Anderson explain his dreams to me for days and days. The Grand Budapest Hotel really takes advantage of being a film; it is so imaginary and other-worldly. Usually Wes tries to convince you they weren’t 100% fictional – Moonrise Kingdoms New Penzance even got a map – but in the imaginary state of ‘Zubrowka’, where The Grand Budapest is set, isn’t even given the privilege of being charted. It’s a real fantasy; I’m so happy Grand Budapest took advantage of BEING A FILM and made itself impossibly pretty. The humour was so much looser and silly than usual, I couldn’t get over how Wes used violence in such a comedic way. Not to mention the acting – the fact that essentially every role is a cameo is good enough for me, I SQUEALED when Edward Norton’s face popped up. As a costume/design/cinematography enthusiast this was a treat for my eyeballs, but the big BIG problem I had with this film was the overwhelmingly white and male cast, how is it that for such a fantasy world, they could only cast two PoC? (I have a lot more less coherent things to say about this film here)
CHLOE: With some directors, and even musicians, it seems the creators can never top their debut and slowly go downhill as time goes on. But for Wes Anderson it is undeniable that over time he has matured and gained experience, if you watch his films in chronological order you can see his style develop which is a wonderful thing to observe, this being said, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is possibly the most ‘Wes Anderson’ Wes Anderson film yet. His absolutely meticulous precision within his work is verging on a Kubrickian level, the camera angles alone are an art form in themselves (it’s also interesting to note that the characters always walk in right angles). Upon first inspection Wes’ films do appear to be ‘suitable for all ages’, but the cute aesthetic and kooky characters are almost a disguise for serious adult themes, this was pushed to the limits here with his characteristic dark humour at its peak and, for Wes, violent images going way beyond the ‘lefty scissors’ incident of Moonrise Kingdom. With an absolute stellar cast and Adrien Brody’s moustache deserving its own line in the credits this film is about as sweet as some Mendl’s confectionary. Five Stars.
MEL: As I’m sure other fans of Wes Anderson’s work will agree, I had the biggest expectations for this film. To my pleasure, they were completely filled (My only complaint is Adrien Brody’s lack of screen-time). With a fantastic cast Wes is sure he can rely on – they all delivered tenfold, complete with one liners and cake-shop clothes (like, quite literally) that anyone wearing irl would get dodgy looks for. Anderson’s theatre-esque camera work and set design is always so relaxing and beautiful to watch, he could film anything and I’d probably fall in love with it, but that doesn’t make this film any less interesting, exciting and hilarious.