The Grand Budapest Hotel Poster

As I mentioned in my Moonrise Kingdom review, I am not the biggest fan of Wes Anderson’s earlier films. I did like The Fantastic Mr Fox (I think my innate love of all things animated may have affected my opinion of this), and Moonrise Kingdom is the first film of his that I really enjoyed, but most of his work seems to be terribly overhyped. So with that in mind, how does The Grand Budapest Hotel fare?

The Grand Budapest Hotel is actually the story of how the lobby boy, Zero, became the owner of the Grand Budapest Hotel, a hotel that was considered an establishment at the peak of its time. However, the movie opens with a writer telling us how he met Zero, and then Zero retelling his story to the writer.

The Good

  • Great visuals
  • Quirky characters
  • Pretty funny
  • The attention to detail
  • The model work is amazing
  • Great performances
  • It’s Wes Anderson!

The OK

  • Not his funniest film
  • A story of a writer telling the story of a lobby boy telling the story of how he came to own the Grand Budapest hotel (story-ception)
  • Seems to be overloaded with recognisable talent who often will have no more than one scene in a movie because they’ve worked with Wes Anderson in the past
  • The pre-war setting seems like a missed opportunity, and is only important in two scenes in the entire film
  • It’s getting to the point that it almost seems like Anderson has a set of stock characters from his previous films that he uses if he needs to

The Bad

  • It’s Wes Anderson…
  • I still don’t engage with his characters
  • Character development is basically non-existent (as is the case with a lot of his films)

Movie Opinion

As much as I would like to say that I now fully understand what I was missing in all of Wes Anderson’s earlier films, my opinion of the man’s work hasn’t changed that much. The Grand Budapest hotel is an enjoyable movie with some really great moments, but overall it didn’t make as much of an impact on me as Moonrise Kingdom, which I felt was a lot funnier. I still feel that his films are superficial to some degree because I don’t find them emotionally engaging in the way a lot of other really great films are. If he managed to actually make me care about his characters more, his films would easily become masterpieces.

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