Thursday, 17 July 2014

movies with kirsty: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Now I'm on my summer holidays, one of my top priorities is to catch up on all the great films I've missed due to basically sacrificing my life to study for exams. One of the first on my list was The Grand Budapest Hotel. I had high expectations for this film; a star-studded cast, directed by the famously quirky Wes Anderson and featuring a score by one of my favourite composers, Alexandre Desplat. It is fair to say that it did not disappoint in any aspect!

Just like in Moonrise Kingdom, this film has the perfect mix of comedy and romance - although it is in no way a romantic comedy. The Grand Budapest features murder, love affairs and deaths of major characters - but Wes Anderson deals with these controversies in such a tongue and cheek way that you are left untouched and unoffended.

If you have an affinity for cinematography and aesthetic, you will fall in love with this film. The shots are centrally arranged to create almost perfect symmetry which gives the movie a feel reminiscent of an animation. It's additionally refreshing to see a film that's not scared to have a LOT of pink in it - which I think helps it stay innocent and playful.

pink! symmetry! opulence!
The majority of the laugh-out-loud moments are provided by BAFTA award winner Ralph Fiennes, who once again displays his incredible versatility. He is perhaps recognised primarily for his role of Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter films, but has proved he really can do anything from war dramas (Schindler's List) to Bond films (Skyfall). In The Grand Budapest, he plays your typical loveable rogue, spending most of the film running away from someone or pissing off the antagonist, Dmitri. In typical Anderson style, he has included many actors that have been in his movies before - to name a few, Adrien Brody, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, and even a cameo from the legendary Bill Murray. A cast this accomplished would be intimidating to say the least to a fresh face, but newcomer Tony Revolori fits in perfectly as the protagonist Zero. He has great chemistry with Fiennes; as the film progresses they become a delightful double act.

Revolori and Fiennes, respectfully, as Zero Moustafa and Gustave H.
The icing on the Courtesan Au Chocolat (watch the film!) is the wonderfully quaint and exciting score by Alexandre Desplat. It's a big contrast from others he has composed; moving pieces on a grand scale with swooping melodies and dramatic strings (Rise of the Guardians,Deathly Hallows). The soundtrack for Grand Budapest is jangly and fast-paced and therefore fits perfectly with the mood of the film.

I loved basically every aspect of this film, although perhaps I'm biased since I adore Wes Anderson and most of the cast. Do you have any recommendations for me to watch next? What's your favourite Wes Anderson film?

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