The Grand Budapest Hotel ★★★★★

I had absolutely no idea what to expect going into this film, only that it was supposed to be really good. And you know what? It's better than that.

Without spoiling too much, The Grand Budapest Hotel is about a legendary concierge and his trusty lobby boy who go on a ridiculous adventure. This is one of those films that I really don't need to sell -- it's extremely rare for me to award a film 5 stars, so hopefully that speaks volumes in and of itself.

I also wanted to applaud the cinematography. The film consists of almost entirely static shots. Little to no pans, no OTS shots. Just static shots, cutting back and forth, sometimes swinging the camera 180º instead. The writing is extremely succinct, and the static shots help push that even further. Ideas are expressed, and then the plot moves on. There are no "lingering" moments. It helps to keep the pace of the film extremely high.

Most of the film is a flashback, and is shot in 4:3, which caught me a little off-guard, but was still quite fun! It's interesting to see what modern-day filmmakers can do with a different aspect ratio.

The characters are laughable and lovable from beginning to end, and I have a hard time thinking of a single part of the film I didn't enjoy.

I can't recommend this film enough. Please see Grand Budapest.