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20 April 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Review) "Architecturally Entertainingly Animatedly Grand, and Something Deep as Well"

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Wes Anderson once again presents a charming, quirky and easily lovable film with a fantastic whimsical story.  Anderson is known for his distinctive style in film-making with great emphasis on unique storytelling, seemingly one-dimensional characters, and silent-era type animated movements. Anderson is probably one of the most architectural of contemporary directors. His shots are symmetrical and rectilinear, even the movements of his actors are rectilinear. The critic Richard Gray, along with many other critics, also noted that Anderson puts his actors in the center of the frame.  
In his latest film, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Anderson is as his peak. Brilliant set design, costumes, cinematography, screenplay, editing and amusing performances come together to form an entertaining film. The film tackles the concept of storytelling itself. A story is often told in layers, each story taking in a new dimension depending on who is telling it.  Particularly challenging to the actors in this film is how to appear and move like a one-dimensional character but still registering depth. Ralph Fiennes, Adrian Brody and Willem Dafoe accomplished such a feat wonderfully.

Watch this film before it disappears in our commercial theaters and be replaced by run-of-the-mill blockbuster films.  “The Grand Hotel Budapest” is an elaborately design specialty cake with unexpected fillings, but unfortunately not always available. In contrast, big action-packed superheroes movies are like heavily salted or sugarcoated popcorn. If these two were presented to you, which one would you pick?

Rectilinear: consisting of straight lines, made by straight lines 
or movements in a straight line

Other films by Wes Anderson includes “Rushmore” (1998), “The Royal Tenenbaums” (2001), “The Squid and the Whale” (2005), “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (2009), and “Moonrise Kingdom” (2012).


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