Monday, February 16, 2015

Academy Awards 2015: Best Picture Reviews - The Grand Budapest Hotel

It's hard not to like Wes Anderson. There are not many filmmakers out there these days who have such a clear vision and a unique one at that, who also refuse to make anything but their own quirky brand of films. Everything Wes Anderson does is refreshingly different and, love or hate him, you can't deny he is one of a kind.

I think I've seen all of Wes Anderson's films except The Darjeeling Limited so obviously I was going to see The Grand Budapest Hotel. I saw this when it came out, so it's been a while. I loved this film and although it's not my pick for Best Picture, it would be well deserved if it won. I really want to see Wes Anderson win Best Director regardless, because I would love to see the Academy reward a director who has such a distinct style. There are only a few directors you can pick out within thirty seconds of a film, and that is worth praising.

Honestly, this movie is hard to describe. It's basically a character sketch about a concierge at the titular hotel and the young boy training for his job. It's strange and darkly funny and full of awesome cameos from actors you don't expect in the roles they accepted. It's actually heartfelt as well, which is something that Wes Anderson movies don't often receive enough credit for. In the midst of the silly and quirky style of his films, his stories are truly honest about people who are trying their best.

This isn't my favorite Wes Anderson film (that's The Royal Tenenbaums, although my husband makes a good case for Moonrise Kingdom), but I truly enjoyed it. I love the way it blends fear of aging and a desire to hang on to traditions with hope. The overarching themes are about loss, nostalgia, and acceptance of the way the world changes, but it's all wrapped up in a storybook adventure.

I really cannot describe this film or do it justice. If you've seen any of Wes Anderson's films, you understand, and if you haven't, well, why not? The Grand Budapest Hotel is a beautiful story of an unlikely friendship and it's entertaining from the first moment of the film right through the credits.

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