Monday, April 7, 2014

Grand Illusion

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) - Anderson
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Anderson's children's picture book diorama with the ever growing cast of cardboard thin characters continues. This didn't annoy me as much as his other movies however. I think mainly it's because of the apt casting. Anderson fits all these known actors into the carefully designed mold and they fit perfectly. Ralph Fiennes has an impeccable comic timing and has never really been better since forever as Gustav H.; first, the concierge then the owner of The Grand Budapest Hotel deep in the Alps in the made-up republic of Zubrowka. Adrian Brody and Willem Defoe also excel as baddies. Anderson skims over WWII, Nazism and racism uncomfortably but shoves pink cream cakes in our faces whenever it gets awkward. The star of the movie is, of course, the production design. Everything is bathed in warm, if not drab colors that give the movie your parents' rec room carpet familiarity. Some seriously gorgeous matte paintings too. It seems like a logical step for Anderson to move his locale to Europe. First it was stop motion animation, now it's old Europe where his not so American sensibilities lie - money, white, nostalgia. It all fits perfectly. I enjoyed it very much.

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