Wes Anderson is my fave auteur, his works are mesmerising and magical, kooky and full of passion, spirit and off the wall hijinks. The Grand Budapest Hotel is no different, it has the picturesque setting of Anderson's animated works, his committed band of actors and actresses willing to bring these vibrant characters to life and yet another transcendent score from Mr Desplat. It's a perfect marriage of all things Anderson and it's incredibly enjoyable to watch.
I'm always taken aback by Anderson's symmetry, his signature stamp, which creates that off the wall, hyperreality for his stories to settle in to. It's so perfectly mundane, and yet so beautifully quirky and my eye is always always always drawn to these shots. GB is particularly delicious, like a Mendls pastry, for it's pastel colouring, everything appears dusted with glitter, or sparkle, and perhaps even a dash of magic. Everything is so striking, and so intentional, it's seriously elegant filmmaking. The aspect ratio is DIVINE for finalising that symmetry. This is all of course heavily juxtaposed against the frenetic energy of the movie, the story and its characters. Within this world of great beauty, and great order, exists something quite dark, quite ugly and completely in chaos. Appearances are of paramount importance to our characters, even when this leaves them open to the uglier sides of the world. It's very nostalgic for a dying time, and I think using a fictional Europe, and a fictional war, works to maintain the hijinks whilst also coming very close to a commentary on 1940s Europe. It is all of these layers that make Anderson such a fascinating filmmaker.
The cast is, as always, a triumph, from Jude Law, who is a wonderful choice for narrator (his voice 😍), to Norton, whose cadence just lends itself to Anderson's scripts, right up to Fiennes who is a fucking star. Fiennes captures the elaborateness, and flamboyance of Gustave with ease, delivering a wry, charming and warm performance, and vessel for our story. He's pure, bubbly, joyful, sarcastic delightfulness and every word out of his mouth was hilarious, or touching, or ludicrous, of a mix of all three. (cont)