The Grand Budapest Hotel


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First off, shame on me! It’s been too long since I’ve blogged and I swore to myself I wouldn’t do that. But, life happens and now I’m making time to catch up. I was fortunate enough to win tickets to a prescreening of the Grand Budapest Hotel LAST TUESDAY but here I am, finally getting around to talking about it.

 

The Grand Budapest Hotel

 

The title is as quirky as any Wes Anderson movie should be… and I’ve heard it called “the new Wes Anderson movie” more often than by its actual title, in fact I’ve been guilty of this myself. And on that point, I think most movie lovers are either huge fans of his work or avoid it at all costs. I’d like to think The Grand Budapest Hotel is a fun and wonderful time for viewers on both sides of the spectrum. This 100 minute movie is nonstop fun, a pure delight, with a lot of heart.

 

6de59d1ce8f027e722e4f7c69c4ae61e_2The movie follows M. Gustave, played brilliantly by The Dark Lord himself… I mean Ralph Fiennes, as a hotel concierge with a reputation for pure excellence and, well, other things (no spoilers here!) He is then joined by the new lobby boy, Zero, played by newcomer Tony Revolori. The relationship they have as mentor and protege truly carries the heart of this film. Any anti-fans of Anderson’s work might argue that his stories are pointless and unrealistic. And yes, his work is always quirky and over-the-top, but the relationship between Gustave and Zero is very real, relatable, and kind of adorable.

 

8db1b589fe8b7976b76a1d3cc234370dFrom the very beginning, you are engulfed in a hotel of bright pinks and purples, and a little hesitance on laughing about it or not, but that’s exactly the point. The detail work found in this film may very well be the best in Anderson’s career. And what first begins in a hotel quickly becomes an adventure movie all across Europe during WWII. I can’t even imagine how much money was spent on the production design of this movie, but I couldn’t be happier about it, and that’s one of the biggest reasons I love his movies so much. Every single shot is so detail oriented, well done, and stunning… it’s almost distracting. Fortunately, the movie also has delightful characters, a brilliant cast (with the typical Anderson-crew cameos of course,) and a wonderful story.

 

6de59d1ce8f027e722e4f7c69c4ae61eAll in all, this movie made me laugh a lot and gasp a few times (it’s rated R!) But I left with a skip in my step (or a Wes Anderson styled march) and a smile on my face… and isn’t that the point of going to the movies? Wes Anderson uses film to make art, tell a story, and entertain… and the Grand Budapest Hotel has done all of these things wonderfully.

  • Most Awesome Quote: “Keep your hands off my lobby boy!”
  • Most Memorable Scene: A chase that looks straight out of the Winter Olympics
  • Hidden Gem: Saoirse Ronan as Agatha
  • Biggest Surprise: Tilda Swinton… is that you?! And holy shit Willem Dafoe…8db1b589fe8b7976b76a1d3cc234370d-1
  • Filmmaking Fun Fact: Wes Anderson used miniatures for most of his wide shots (am I butchering terms here?), but filmed them     outdoors in natural lighting… the effect is like nothing I’ve seen before!
  • Worth Seeing in Theaters: ABSOLUTELY
  • Worth Buying: DEFINITELY
  • Overall Score: *****

 

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Throwback Thursday: a Party Poem 1/09

It feels weird to look back, knowing this was written over 5 years ago at a house party. It’s very strange and a little silly, but I chose this poem because of it’s firm physical influence, which has a strong correlation to my feelings this week. Try not to take it too seriously…

 

This world of vines with stripes
With billowing smoke beneath,
I try to escape but it will not leave.
My eyes they bulge and my shoulders round,
My ears they pulse and it feels profound.
Sounds bounce and wave through my head,
Cinnamon toast crunch. Needing to be fed.
As it enters through the vines and veins of skin
To the stomach lump of my body lying within,
Where there beats a heart in this dark abyss,
Its presence lingers like true love’s first kiss.
And as it lies there beating, a pain circulates,
Through spine of center for which it hates.
I know not of what they say down a stair,
But in mind of layers, levels, it’s hard to care.
And so what do I care? But what I see
Is a world far different than naturally.
Marshmallow pies, marshmallow pies,
It’s high up here, I’ve seen many skies.
Whether it be day, it be dark, it be gone,
It’s honor I give through peace of song,
And here I swing within my mind, my center,
However sound will not leave – only enter.
Stop, stop, it says to me, small sounds say.
But this price of presence shall it pay?