Spanning over 60 years, and involving an ensemble cast that might easily be close to 100, Wes Anderson’s film The Grand Budapest Hotel, definitely lives up to it’s titular “grand” scope. This fast pace tale of the life and times of a hotel, it’s staff, and the cast of characters that come through its doors, is spectacular in its set designs and storytelling. Although sometimes overwhelming with the amount of characters and scene changes put into it, the heart and soul remains in Ralph Fiennes’ portrayal of M. Gustave, the amorous concierge. Fiennes’ soulful Gustave takes pauses to pontificate on romantic poetry and look longingly off-camera, creating the much-needed emotional cornerstone to all the capers. Anderson is in a field of his own as his vision transcends ornate set pieces, like the Royal Tennenbaums, to actual works of art. The matt paintings and miniatures that are used throughout to show locations are so illustrative and detailed it is mind-blowing. His attention to detail borders on madness. Knowing that his audience would already know shots were artificial is his exact reason for leaning more towards the handmade than CG, “ the particular brand of artificiality that I like to use is an old-fashioned one.” Well, I know again I’m late on seeing this one, but it was well worth it.
P.S. I've officially added Jeff Goldblum and Adrien Brody to my top loved faces list after seeing them here. Oh for the love of a nose!