Movies I Watched: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
I really and truly wanted to like this more than I did, but for the most part, I was disappointed with this film—especially after how wonderful Moonrise Kingdom was. Moonrise had the standard zaniness and breaking of the fourth wall that this sometimes had, but at its heart, it was a very human story, and even smaller subplots (Bruce Willis/Francis McDormand) had a great amount of heart to them. This just felt like it was madcap and out of control from the bulk of it, and not even in a particularly entertaining way. The middle third of the film dragged and was unnecessarily talky in parts. Ralph Fiennes is so lovely and charming but there is really nothing more to that character beyond loveliness and charm. The film wants to argue otherwise at the end, but it felt like forced emotion. Additionally! You’ve got three phenomenal female actresses in this: Léa Seydoux, Saoirse (I spelled this right without googling) Ronan, and Tilda Swinton. GIVE THEM MORE THAN A HANDFUL OF LINES! Ronan’s character has the most to work with, but even then, it’s barely anything at all.
As excited as I was for every cameo in this, I could have used about ten less characters too.
Things I did like: the whole vibe given to Adrien Brody’s character was weird and evil and kind of like an old Disney villain. That stylization was cool and they could have spent more time on the Lutz’s as a family and I wouldn’t have been mad about it. And, of course, as with every Wes Anderson film, the art design and costuming is incredible. There’s something to look at in every scene and it is stunning to watch throughout. It’s one to see in theaters, especially if you’re curious about the design and feel of it, but ultimately a shallow story that plays more with its environment than its characters.