Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland
Markus Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Rated R for language, some sexual content and violence
What does award worthy cinematography, brilliant set design, milk drinking, flamboyant moustaches, impromptu poetry readings, deadpan facial expressions, characters so eccentric it hurts and weird cheek birthmarks all have in common? You guessed it! All of these aspects play a huge role in the new Wes Anderson film.
I hope you’re sitting down, but I wasn’t crazy about “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. Those who are familiar with my more public rants know my feelings regarding writer/director Wes Anderson: A master craftsman when it comes to visual composition, while simultaneously constructing plots and developing characters (and dialogue) which are nearly always eccentrically excessive, rambling and fashionably nihilistic, in the most annoying way possible. That said, upon entering the theater, I did manage to do my duty as a critic and put all past feelings aside.
Synopsis: Beginning with a sequence which was described by a critic much smarter than myself as a “hipster inception”, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” tells the story of a concierge (Ralph Fiennes) annoyingly and constantly referred to as Gustave H., who heads up (you guessed it) The Grand Budapest Hotel and has a fetish for having sex with the elderly. Zero is a lobby boy, annoyingly and constantly referred to as “lobby boy” or “my lobby boy”. The two, for some reason, become friends just in time for Gustave H. to be accused of the murder of one of his many friends with benefits.
With a director whose films should always be up for Oscar consideration in every “visual” category, there is a lot here which is atheistically pleasing. And if you can get into the type of high brow (or pretentious) humor Anderson is throwing at you, then the 2nd Act is full of funny gags and clever lines of dialogue; some of the funniest situational dialogue Anderson has written since “Rushmore”.
Final Thought: I have a feeling that the people who found this movie hilarious, will point to the ever-winking, “aren’t I clever” diction, which goes hand in hand with the classic Anderson motif of proper people acting silly, as some sort of defense of their proclamation that “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is one of the best films of the year. And to be fair, unlike “The Royal Tenenbaums”, this is a film which contains a halfway interesting plot (inspired by the writings of Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig). But meanwhile (in reality) this movie is way too eccentric for anyone who doesn’t already worship at Anderson’s feet. And in the end, the 3rd Act dwindles into nothing, so what’s the point, really?
Follow me on Twitter@moviesmarkus