The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel ★★★★★

Writing a review for a Wes Anderson film is slowly becoming something akin to marking down a checklist. His style is so wildly original and controlled that it's impossible to miss or mistake his mark no matter how you see it. As someone who's really grown to love this auteur more and more with every film, it genuinely surprised me to see that Wes has not revealed his entire bag of tricks and to be perfectly honest I don't think he's grabbing from the same bag these days. We've all seen the trailers. You feel like you know what to expect but this strays farther from Anderson's initial ideals. I don't wanna confuse anyone, though. This is still Wes at his most visually overwhelming while infusing elements of artistry only found in most recent projects, Moonrise and Fox. The elements that separate this have more to do with Hotel's fitting ties to history. For so long, it's felt like Wes Anderson's films have been trapped inside their own worlds while Grand Budapest functions highly on it's time and place in history and how that affects our characters. It's still in Anderson's zany bubble but he's never explored emotions and ideas like this before. The startling reality really works in juxtaposition with a world we're used to feeling so invited to. It really reminds me of pre-code era comedies a la Ernst Lubitsch. There's this polish and gleam to things with a dark, seedy underbelly that our characters are usually trying to escape somehow. It's a really hard line to toe but Wes Anderson is the perfect director to do it. No one is more concerned with cinematic illusion than him right now.