Monday, January 26, 2015


Best Picture - Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson 
Cinematography - Robert Yeoman 
Costume Design - Milena Canonero
Directing - Wes Anderson
Film Editing - Barney Pilling 
Makeup and Hairstyling - Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier 
Original Score - Alexandre Desplat 
Production Design - Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock 
Original Screenplay -  Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness 

Let's start with the fact that I don't usually "get" Wes Anderson films, but recently he has been on a tear of films of which I can't get enough.  The Grand Budapest Hotel was one of them.  Every single one of the categories for which it is nominated is absolutely correct.

Describing a Wes Anderson plot is a little bit like trying to herd cats because there are always so many things happening and you don't really know what to attend to first.  The basic story revolves around M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) a concierge at an upscale hotel and his trusty sidekick and protoge, Zero (Tony Revolori).  Gustave "services" elderly ladies who come to the hotel, and one in particular dies and leaves him a very valuable painting in her will.  Naturally, her greedy children dispute Gustave's claim to the painting, and it's fair to say in summary that hijinx ensue.

The film is funny and quirky and has Anderson's usual cast of characters (Ed Norton, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Bob Balaban...).  For me, the real standouts of the film were the Costume and Production Designs.  The look of the film from the dilapidated hotel to the lavish version is spectacular.  The costumes are elegant and interesting, but also manage to be that particular "Anderson strange" that supports his motif perfectly.  In fact, when I saw the first 10 seconds of the trailer for the film before it came out, I immediately thought, "this is a Wes Anderson film."  All of the elements are so distinctly him that the Directorial nomination was a no brainer.

The Oscars rarely get behind movies that are not solely dramatic in nature, and to see a comedy coalesce in this way is a treat.  The Grand Budapest Hotel is grand, indeed.

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