THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (2014)
DIR: Wes Anderson
I recently had the privilege to see this film on the big screen and take part in a discussion on it. Based on what was discussed, I feel it is time for a post.
This is actually the only Wes Anderson movie I have seen. And I have seen it quite a few times before the fortunate moment I previously mentioned. The first was with a person who will always remain near and dear to my heart, who always showed me very good movies. This was in 2015, after its many Oscars wins and wide release. I have lost touch in many ways with this person, and my relationship with him is strained and painful.
Which is as good of a segue as any as talking about this movie. In many ways, Grand Budapest is also about love and loss. Zero’s loss of Agatha. M. Gustave’s loss of his lady companion. Zero’s loss of M. Gustave. And, ultimately, the loss of the hotel. Many beloved and cherished people and things are lost in time throughout the film, without the characters being able to stop it.
Despite these very sad and nostalgic undertones, as Zero reminisces on all this and misses Agatha deeply, the whole film is charming and cute. In typical Wes Anderson fashion, it is colorful and dainty with delicate title cards and charming set designs that look like the confectionery marvels that come out of Mendl’s. It is a visual treat watching this pastel wonderland and its ever-changing aspect ratios to reflect different periods of time. The style is impeccable, luxurious, and the viewer years for these days much like M. Gustave does.
Not only that, but it has a charming sense of humor and wit. Ralph Fiennes and the whimsical set designs add to this, in particular. The entire film, despite its underlying sadness, is a charmer and a fun visual ride. There are so many lovely shots and lovely cinematography it was hard to pick just ten pictures.
We were happy here. For a little while. This happiness and yearning nostalgia can be captured by watching this movie over and over again.
“For my dearest darling, treasured, cherished ___ whom I worship. With respect, adoration, admiration, kisses, gratitude, best wishes, and love from A to _” ♥