Chances are you’ve already made up your mind about Wes Anderson. Either you’re willing to go with the meticulous symmetry of his dollhouse compositions, the precious tchotchke-filled design sensibility and the stilted formality of his dialogue, or you check out of his storybook worlds in the first five minutes. On the evidence of his eighth feature, The Grand Budapest Hotel, it’s clear no one is more aware of his idiosyncracies than Anderson himself — and he’s not apologizing.
Grand Budapest is a culmination of the tinkly music-box aesthetic of Anderson’s work to date, turned up to 11. If you’ve already tuned out, all the two dimensional tracking shots, whip-pans, color coordination and stop-motion animation is going to come crashing down on you like a truckload of playfully plinking harpsichords. But if you meet Anderson on his terms, you’ll reach the end and just want more.
The film’s structure is a justification of the distant remove from anything resembling reality, with Anderson nesting the primary narrative within a series of framing stories. The primary tale is a zany caper set in the fictional Eastern European republic of Zubrowka, involving murder, stolen art, a prison break and a mountainside toboggan chase. At the center is Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes), concierge of the mountaintop resort of the title, and his lobby boy Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori).
That plot unfolds in 1932, but…
Continue reading the rest of my review over at NPR.
Tags | NPR | review | Wes Anderson | Ralph Fiennes | comedy | period piece | Jude Law | Saoirse Ronan | Bill Murray | F. Murray Abraham | Jason Schwartzman | 1 note