Mini-Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Poster: The Grand Budapest HotelThis review should be spoiler-free, but let me know if I slipped and gave away too much.

Edmund and I saw Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel on Saturday morning and we both enjoyed it greatly. The main charms of the movie were, for me, its one-of-a-kind quality and the fantastic casting. I thought the direction and soundtrack were also very good, and the visuals were simply luscious. I really enjoyed the way it was constructed of vignettes, seemingly haphazard details, and stories-within-stories.

Visually, the movie has pretty deliberate overtones of Terry Gilliam-ness; but it also reminded me of the very source of the “movie cameo” concept, Michael Anderson’s Around the World in Eighty Days, and Tarsem Singh’s The Fall.

The movie’s weakness was probably the dialogue; it wasn’t atrocious but it relied too much on the contrast of high-falutin’ floweriness with sudden jarring (or meant to be jarring) cursing; the talented cast carried it off out of sheer talent and skilled direction and editing, but the text itself was actually flatter than they let you notice.

It was also a bit weak in terms of female characters; there were two nice characters but with little visibility, agency, or dialogue lines.

If you are tired of watching movies which you can predict in their entirety after watching the trailer, The Grand Budapest Hotel is an excellent antidote.