Mustache and Panache: Review of The Grand Budapest Hotel – New York Minute Magazine
Connect
To Top

Mustache and Panache: Review of The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson's 2014 comedy takes you on a strange, wonderful adventure of charm and mystery.
Hey badass! Want to stay in the loop? Sign up for free weekly updates
Post saved!

 

The Grand Budapest Hotel is the story of the oddball adventures of legendary concierge Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes) and his protégé, a lobby boy named Zero (Tony Revolori). It takes place at the titular hotel, which is located in the fictional European Republic of Zubrowka, over a tumultuous time between two wars. For the 100-minute runtime, we see ourselves transported through sprawling landscapes, and along various times and misadventures. The story unfolds over three distinct timelines (1930s, 1968, 1985) that each have their own aspect ratio, which makes the script feel like a jam-packed epic poem stuffed into a short film. In addition, each timeline is assigned its’ own unique narrator, who gives a new perspective.

Directed by Wes Anderson in his trademark style, the quirky cast of characters, lavish settings, and wildly-theatrical storytelling often beg the question: are we seeing style over substance through this 20-plus-year filmmaking career, or do his stories simply tend to use a similar arsenal of tools to achieve the goals that he has in mind? Anderson has said, “I want to try not to repeat myself. But then I seem to do it continuously in my films. It’s not something I make any effort to do. I just want to make films that are personal but interesting to an audience.”

Bearing in mind that it took some time for his style to become more than just art for artists, his budget for The Grand Budapest Hotel was leagues above anything he’s made before. However, the film still feels distinctly quaint and small, like the rest of his body of work. Most of the time, we are being told a story by a person who is also being told the story, so we listen through layers of separation and expect the storybook to be brought alive as it’s dictated to us. The genius of his filmmaking doesn’t come from a particular style he’s invented, or a gimmick he can fall back on – it comes from what I imagine is a deep, personal love for the experience of passing down a story from one soul to another.

Anderson delivers his narratives with a distinct flair that echoes a children’s book being read to you before bed. It’s no surprise then that Fantastic Mr. Fox, his first foray into stop motion animation, fit into his style, as if it came from his own book. In The Grand Budapest Hotel, we get highly detailed characters who feel meticulous to the point of neurosis. Dialogue flies at you with just enough redundancy to keep up, but still always feels miles faster than our comprehension. We are also treated to a visual style that keeps on giving, with layers of incredible blocking and practically stage direction, in frames that feel like dioramas coming alive before us. If a stage play and a screenplay had a baby, Wes Anderson would undoubtedly be the father – no Maury Povich or blood test required.

Anderson is always one for the bittersweet, especially in his endings. Watching one of his movies often feels like being lightly stabbed by an adorable little girl – you can feel hopeless and, in some cases, downright depressed, but you won’t fight it. In fact, you’ll often feel yourself welcoming a comedy at the door.

If you’re feeling like a lavish plunge into a world of obscurely inspired visions, and insanely talented ensembles, make sure you check out The Grand Budapest Hotel. For following the whimsical, and oddly tragic viewing, The Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom will deliver just what you’re looking for.

Title Image Source

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

(Visited 54 times, 1 visits today)

LEAVE A COMMENT

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Be Fun

  • Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes

    Making food in advance is awesome, as long as you’re making something that can be easily reheated – or better yet,...

    Josh GuirguisNovember 21, 2017
  • Tender Pancetta Meatballs

    Ever try a meatball so tender it made you stop just to take in the flavor? For me, this happened when...

    Josh GuirguisNovember 10, 2017
  • Apps for Women by Women

    Women in the tech world are doing some pretty amazing things. From apps that can help you delay a text to...

    Catherine HorneOctober 31, 2017
  • Dating Apps by Women for Women

    There seems to be a common problem everyone has when using dating apps like Tinder; often, people are just looking for...

    Catherine HorneOctober 24, 2017
  • Fresh, Local Nature at the Taroko National Park in Taiwan

    One might not immediately think of Taiwan, a small island in the Pacific, as a site of massive, awe-inspiring forms of...

    Monica GuOctober 20, 2017
  • Affordable and Fun Halloween Costume Tips

    With Halloween around the corner, you probably – and rightfully – don’t want to spend $50 or more on today’s overpriced...

    Diba BijariOctober 19, 2017
  • Spooky and Stylish Fall Decor

    October – being the spookiest month – is also the best time to get crafty with some eye-catching fall home decor!...

    Diba BijariOctober 12, 2017
  • New Releases: Erase My Head

    In October, my hunger for horror movies elevates itself, like a vampire that smells blood or a werewolf under a full...

    Nadeer FaragallaOctober 6, 2017
  • Lemon and Garlic Shrimp Scampi

    This week at NYMM we’re eating some classic shrimp scampi. For such a classic dish, it’s surprisingly easy to make. You...

    Josh GuirguisOctober 6, 2017
  • New Scarf Techniques for Fall Fun

    As our favorite, chillier seasons approach, let’s go through some scarf knotting and styling techniques that are as easy as they...

    Diba BijariOctober 5, 2017
  • Fashion-Forward Apps of the Week

    It can be hard to manage your closet and the many different items of clothing you have lying around, especially with...

    Catherine HorneOctober 3, 2017
  • Vegetarian Tacos with Avocado Cream

    This week at NYMM we’re changing up our tacos. We’re ditching meat and rice, but keeping it meaty and starchy with...

    Josh GuirguisSeptember 29, 2017
  • Smoothies for the Fall Season

    A smoothie can be great for a morning pick-me-up, after a workout, or just in general. As fall approaches, why not...

    Diba BijariSeptember 28, 2017
  • Apps to Reward You for Exercising

    Sometimes, it can be very difficult to get yourself motivated to exercise, even if you keep telling yourself that you need...

    Catherine HorneSeptember 26, 2017
  • Italian Ghost Town to Artistic Haven

    There is a small village in Italy that has survived major devastations, has been completely revived, and has almost been completely...

    Miranda FebusSeptember 22, 2017

Copyright © 2016 New York Minute Magazine