“Keep your hands off my lobby boy!”
There have been few other directors in millennial cinema with such a distinctive style as Wes Anderson. In the past 18 years, Anderson has evolved into a landmark filmmaker from the origins of his technique evident in Rushmore to the truly storybook-like sensibilities in Fantastic Mr. Fox and Moonrise Kingdom. Anderson arrived in his first film with a distinctive voice, but in The Grand Budapest Hotel there is a sense of maturity, a grandness that is now present.
Anderson has had his fair share of detractors in his career, but instead of ‘toning down’ his unique flair, he has delivered his most self-referential film yet. Instead of positioning the story just inside the doll house, Anderson has built his own and ventured outside of it. With this further exploration of the expansive world beyond the confines comes an exploration of much heavier issues than previously touched upon. At the heart of The Grand Budapest Hotel is the caper tale of friendship that Anderson frequently delivers in countless new and interesting ways, but above that, there are consequences of war and the sadness inherent in that, giving a new air of responsibility.
All of the usual charms are still present though. The same wonderful style, the banter, centered cinematography, cameos, everything that makes Wes Anderson so loved and one of my favourite directors, is present here. Lush with detail and gems to discover as always, The Grand Budapest Hotel is an exhilarating, whipped-cream light adventure with a slightly heavier undertone that will surely be remembered as one of the best films of 2014, and come awards season, will hopefully be present.
Anderson no longer creates model sets like Margot in The Royal Tenenbaums, he’s now commanding the stage himself.
The Grand Budapest Hotel received a wide release starting April 10, 2014.
M (violence, sexual references, nudity and coarse language), 100 mins.