The Grand Budapest Hotel

Revenge of the Rather Sweet

All Mr. Anderson's built‑up preciousness has finally paid off.
Reported on 1st of May, 2018

Well, I saw it, and it wasn’t bad. I didn’t take many notes, only that they killed a cat and perhaps were a bit cutesy with the violence, but given the general crap on display for awards season (as written in 2015, and yet, was right), this is far and away one of the best.


First of all, it’s kind of sweet, which I haven’t seen in a while for Mr. Anderson. Also, at the center, is a truly original character, someone at once profane and polite, yet without seeming forced. It’s not just that he has sex with the old ladies or that he freely admits it, it’s the joyous self-evident way that he does it.

Finally, no one else could have made this movie or this character or this environment work. All his built-up preciousness has finally paid off. The tonal seriousness of the fascists in combination with death and so on only works within the context of a kind of hyper perfect cake world. It’s not a story I would necessarily be interested in (though certainly the character I would be), but no one else could tell it.

This may be one of the first films I saw here, January 2015, looking for houses in Saint Lunaire before Emily got sick. Maybe it was the optimism that got me.

There are problems, aka, I wasn’t that engaged, and the other characters were a bit flat and stock. There were also some trying too hard moments, such as the multiple hotel clerks run together.

But there was a tremendous amount of energy on display here. Just delineating between the two versions of the hotel without underlining too greatly was an impressive feat. I guess not calling attention to it was the impressive part. Not being impressive?

I don’t like these type of novels, and novelish qualities in general, but he made me. And it’s memorable, which I cannot say about either his other films, or even anything else that garnered attention that year where various awards given to (shudder) Birdman and Foxcatcher. And as written in 2015, I was right. I wonder if I’d give up being right for having better movies.

I wonder. I didn’t say you had to.

The Take

His sacrifice is over mores. It’s weird that this is probably the most sophisticated anti-terrorism film. We’ve tried war and electronic surveillance; why not tsk-ing at the rude ?
I’m not going to mention how beautiful the orange post-Soviet hotel was. No one ever talks about design and Mr. Anderson. It’s just not done.
I’m a stickler for consistency in character. And yet, the staid concierge of Mr. Fiennes seems able to get into a prison fight and make friends afterwards. It’s an accomplishment.
Total Profits
As aware in post Isle of Dogs 2018, there are moments of cuteness that take you out. It’s why you pay actors the big bucks; to make your movie more than it is. It’s actually not why, but the actual reason in this case coincided with a good one.
Total Losses


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