The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel ★★★★½

Absolutely holds up, in fact it’s far better than what 15-year-old me will tell you at the time it released. Wes Anderson’s work is often described as delightful, and rightfully so, you’ll catch me snickering at every subtle one liner or gesture that are scattered throughout his colorful ensemble pieces. Make no mistake though, tragedy lies beneath its surface and the melancholy of Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums has returned. At the head of this cast lies the dynamic duo of Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori, their comedic timing drives the picture into a gloriously accelerated speed. Robert D. Yeoman’s cinematography reaches its peak here, at least out of his collaborations with Anderson. I could frankly watch Jeff Goldblum being chased by Willem Dafoe all day, especially if it manages to remain that tense without dialogue or score. 

Saoirse Ronan is lovely as always, Fiennes’ character will remind you of that multiple times. I consider this and Moonrise Kingdom to be his masterpieces, and most of their success relies upon the stakes that are increasingly raised as the films unfold. Both of our protagonist duos are being chased, and it leads to edge of your seat laugh riots. Budapest is the darker of the two for sure, mostly for its war setting and chilly atmosphere. The best part are the seamless transitions to different, more absurd locations. Any place is quirky in a Wes flick, even if it’s prison with bald and tatted Harvey Keitel. The climax is worth studying in terms of pacing and tension even if you’re one of those filmmakers who makes ‘serious’ films.

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