The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel ★★★★★

Weird how some films seem even better when you've got a whole lot more under your belt than when you've hardly seen anything. Watching this when it came out felt like eating gourmet, hand-crafted sweets as a kid: I couldn't really appreciate the picturesque compositions, the meticulous color palette, the stunning sets and production design, the sharp-witted yet simultaneously low-brow humor, the cast one of the most impressive of any ever, the tight script and even tighter pacing, you get the point. Back then when I watched maybe two movies a year I just sort of assumed this was normal, par for the course and expected of any "big-name" film, and after the credits rolled I thought that what I just saw was good, great even!

Absolutely not.

Revisiting this now, I realize that The Grand Budapest Hotel is by far one of the greatest cinematic experiences that has ever existed, currently exists, will ever exist. Now, that statement is possibly exaggerated just a little bit, but after really getting into movies as a hobby and digging one's hands deep in the dirt that is the filmic landscape, one really starts to see what makes the best films... the best. My initial lukewarm response was due to having few points of comparison, and my awe-struck rewatch impressions are due to having seen so much more since. Additional familiarity with how the sausage is made also helps a lot: I can truly understand just how impressive certain shots are, just how effective the editing is, just how great someone's performance really is, etc. When you've eaten enough truly middling chocolate in your life, you start to really appreciate what goes into the expensive kind.

Apologies for not talking much about the film itself, but what else is there to say? It's one of the greatest films ever made. It's The Grand Budapest Hotel.

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