The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel ★★★★

Near the very end there's a line about the main character, M. Gustave, that goes: “To be frank I think his world had vanished long before he ever entered it. But I will say he certainly sustained the illusion with a marvelous grace."

You can’t tell me that Anderson didn’t write that about himself, even subconsciously. The line is both an acknowledgment of how anachronistic are his obsessions and also how pleased he is with himself for maintaining them so steadfastly.

It's this self-awareness that makes "The Grand Budapest Hotel" so successful, too. This story within a story within a story is not just an elaborate synthesis of both his previous live action and stop-motion animation work, but it's fully realized in a way that many of his others were not. The difference here is the attention to character, and how deeply he understands M. Gustave and company compared to many of his other protagonists. It's actually a relief to be able to watch Anderson's extensive focus on production design populated with genuinely interesting characters, instead of just cardboard cutout archetypes. This might be Anderson's masterpiece.

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