Movie Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel

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This past week I had the privilege to watch the move, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which is spectacular! This dramatic comedy was written and directed by Wes Anderson.  He’s also directed other movies such as “Moonrise Kingdom, ” “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “Rushmore,” and “The Darjeeling Limited.” The general plot is enchanting and makes you crave more while at the edge of your seat. The film has plenty of funny dialogue, great escapes, a gunfight, and cliff hangers. The amazing shots of the hotel show great detail and color (especially pink)!

The Grand Budapest Hotel - 64th Berlin Film Festival

The beginning scene of the movie makes you fall in love right away and compels you to keep watching. The color scheme is subtle and makes you feel relaxed, but the upcoming scenes definitely catch your eye! The Grand Budapest Hotel is colored in a creamy pink and pure white color with a pop of a stronger color, for most of the movie. The building is massive and very “grand.” With it’s many windows, you can imagine luxurious people all on holiday behind them. The ground lies earthy and snow covered with mountains in the background. The fictional setting is called “The Republic of Zubrowka.” While the hotel was in its glory days, Zubrowka was on the verge of war.

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The time settinngs are set during 1985, 1965, and 1932. Most of the movie is set in 1932 and the hotel was lively with dazzling, rich guests who wore sparkling dresses, and massive diamonds. One of the main characters is Monsieur Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes) who was easily detected throughout the movie by his strong cologne, “L’Air de Panache.” He doesn’t leave his room without a spritz of his cologne! Gustave H is a known charmer throughout the movie to older women. One of his “special friends” is Madame Celine Villeneuve “Madamd D” Desgoffe und Taxis (Tilda Swinton). Tilda Swinton does an excellent job as “Madame D.” The showstopper was the makeup used to make her look like she was 88 years old. Extremely believable! She has a wrinkled face that is covered with liver spots and a huge mount of big, silver hair on top of her head, rivaling the height of Marge Simpson’s blue beehive. The other main character, who is the lobby boy, named Zero, played by a newer actor, Tony Revolori, is a resourceful and quirky guy who ends up becoming Gustave H’s most trusted employee and dear, dear friend. 

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The different settings during the movie are so picturesque. It makes me want to travel to Europe and back in time, even though the location is one that never existed. I especially want to eat the cake which is shown throughout the movie and becomes quite an important plot element. It is so beautifully created that my mouth was watering every time it was shown! The cake is called “Corutesan au Chocolate” packaged in the signature pink box with the store’s name “Mendl’s, and tied beautifully with a blue ribbon.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a must see for people who love watching creative and comedic films. The imagination behind the story line is exciting and entertaining. I am in awe with Wes Anderson’s newest masterpiece and of course, all star cast. This is also one of, if not THE most violent Wes Anderson so far, but of course, done very cleverly. 

I hope many of you will watch this amazing film. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!

Blog post by Alyssa Valdivia

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