movie film review | chris tookey
 
     
     
 

Grand Budapest Hotel

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  Grand Budapest Hotel Review
Tookey's Rating
5 /10
 
Average Rating
7.92 /10
 
Starring
Ralph Fiennes , Saoirse Ronan, Bill Murray
Full Cast >
 

Directed by: Wes Anderson
Written by: Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness , inspired by the writing of Stefan Zweig

 
 
 
Released: 2014
   
Genre: DRAMA
RITES-OF-PASSAGE
OVERRATED
COMEDY
   
Origin: US/ Germany
   
Colour: C
   
Length: 99
 
 


 
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A highlight reel of the writer-directorís tics, quirks and affectations... Andersonís movies have, as his budgets have gone up, tended to function more and more as airless dollhouses, perfectly crafted down to the baseboards and the fabrics and still airless, lifeless and suffocated.
(James Rocchi, Cinephiled)
A kitschy adventure story that feels curiously weightless, at times even arbitrary... One big surprise in this film is how violent it is. There have been brief moments of light carnage in Andersonís earlier films, but here he rather casually shows us severed fingers and bodies riddled with bullets. Heís raising the stakes of the adventure, yes, but I suspect heís also trying to give his film a little edge. Which it definitely needs, but not necessarily in the places he puts it. The 1930s section of the film deals with the onset of a WWII-ish conflict, and that ď-ishĒ is a problem. All the cutesiness in the world canít really make what was beginning to happen in 1930s Europe remotely charming, as Anderson seems to want to do. Here he could have seized a rare opportunity to deepen his gaze, to take the film beyond his typical bemused remoteness. But instead he gives us a few bloody fingers and then bounces along.
(Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair)
A featherweight screwball comedy that, trying mightily to be cosmopolitan, feels awfully provincial, desperately touristy: Europe is just this nutty place where a lot of crazy mixed-up stuff happened and look at this darling model ski lift!
(Kyle Smith, New York Post)
You are flung shipwrecked on a desert island. You are not thirsty (thereís a fresh water spring), but you are frantic with hunger. You have a cooking pot and fire materials, but no food. Then a crate marked ďEggsĒ floats miraculously into view. You seize it, rip it open, only to find not a dozen farmerís best, nestling in straw, but a selection of Faberge eggs cocooned in velvet. Despair! Suddenly you are unimaginably, uselessly wealthy. And still starving.Thatís how I felt watching Wes Andersonís The Grand Budapest Hotel. The ornamental riches queue up: production design, star cast, pastiche stylings of gesture, costume, dialogue in a story set in Belle Epoque Central Europe. But not a sustaining calorie, narrative or dramatic, in sight... For the first hour you want passionately to love the film. For the second hour, or much thereof, you want passionately to leave it, casting a few rose petals as you go, for Andersonís better luck the next time he tries to magic the slight into the show-stopping.
(Nigel Andrews, Financial Times)
True enchantment will elude those, like me, who remain impervious to Andersonís affected style and whimsical humour. The narrative sags in the second act when Gustav takes a back seat to a new group of characters, a rugged bunch of prison inmates led by Harvey Keitel, and as ever Andersonís stage-managed artistry precludes proper feeling.
(Henry Fitzherbert, Sunday Express)
sensually satisfying, but emotionally satisfying? Not so much, alas. Divine pastries, divine clothes, divine period trappings, but, as with most of Andersonís films, I was never moved or understood what mattered, if any of it mattered. Iím even forgetting it as Iím remembering it, as if it had been no more than a dream... While we feast visually, we arenít given much reason to feel anything. No sorrow, no tension, no joy. Everything is at a chilly, highly stylised remove, and we are not encouraged to especially care about any of the characters. Do they even matter? You wouldnít think so, given the way Gustave and Agatha, particularly, are dealt with so bleakly and abruptly at the end.
(Deborah Ross, Spectator)

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