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Wick's Review

Created Mar 17, 2014 01:13AM PST • Edited May 04, 2021 07:38AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Perfect 5.0

    The Grand Budapest Hotel flaunts a garden of cinematic delights. Deliciously deadpan and deliriously fun for those of us who love the cinematic art form, Wes Anderson’s brilliant confection works high and low. Well, not too low, as even the physical comedy and silly surprises take a bit of smarts to appreciate.

    A near continuous tickle and frequently LOL funny, The Grand Budapest had my Saturday night full-house in stitches. Nothing uproarious, mind you. Interestingly, many people laughed at different things. All together though, Anderson’s latest and perhaps greatest movie simply slayed. While playing at few houses, CinéArts at Santana Row had it in not one or even two, but three theaters and apparently needed them all.

    Every scene, every scenic construction is expected to be a delight: of situation or signage or something. Most are. Even better, many scenes end with a bang or a surprise or something fun. They’re all delights.

    It’s a caper movie of a sort, of the highly stylized sort, with a highly stylized Ralph Fiennes at the center.

    The Grand Budapest Hotel becomes the third Perfect Movie of 2014 and simply the best I’ve seen from the estimable Wes Anderson. You’ve got to see it to believe it.

  3. Really Great 4.5

    Ralph Fiennes carries this stupendous concoction of a movie as Monsieur Gustave, Europe’s greatest concierge to Europe’s richest people. Fiennes makes this pompous, primped and improbably principled man a character of ultimately touching depth. High wire acting performances are rarely so suavely executed.

    Tony Revolori is his principal costar as a war refugee and Lobby Boy who becomes his obsequious servant. The teenaged Revolori makes a debut for the ages as the great Fiennes’ second banana.

    They’re surrounded by really great actors, lots of them in fact.

    • Tilda Swinton as an 84 year old heiress with a hankering for M. Gustave
    • Adrien Brody as her evil son
    • Willem Dafoe as his fearsome henchman
    • Mathieu Amalric as a faithless servant
    • Giselda Volodi as his Sister. It didn’t work out well for her.
    • Jeff Goldblum as a fancypants probate lawyer
    • Harvey Keitel as a shirtless prison kingpin
    • Florian Lukas, Karl Markovics and Volker Michalowski as his crew
    • Society of the Cross Keys: Bill Murray, Bob Balaban, Fisher Stevens, Owen Wilson
    • Edward Norton as a proper Police Captain
    • Saoirse Ronan as a dream girl with a birthmark in the shape of Mexico on her cheek
    • Flash-forward characters well played by Jude Law, F. Murray Abraham and Jason Schwartzman
    • Tom Wilkinson gets the ball rolling as a contemporary writer recounting his connection to the grand story of The Grand Budapest Hotel.
  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Really Great 4.5
  6. Female Costars Really Great 4.5
  7. Male Costars Really Great 4.5
  8. Perfect 5.0

    Where to begin in praising Wes Anderson’s perfect film? Perhaps by seconding his choice of inspiration, the socially observant Austrian writer Stefan Zweig. Then for accepting Hugo Guinness as a cowriter, after he’d previously contributed artwork to The Royal Tennenbaums and a voice to The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    Let’s continue by saluting one of many genius elements that Anderson and Guinness conceived. The Grand Budapest Hotel is leavened by undertones of societal tragedy, the real world versions of which led Stefan Zweig to commit suicide with his wife, rather than live in a world where the Nazis thrived.

    Thus the film’s ZZ corps is a perfect stand-in for the SS, aka the Nazis. The film also takes subtle jabs at the Communists who put Eastern Europe behind the Iron Curtain, sucking the life out of Grand Hotels and everything else that smacked of non-state controlled wealth. Brilliant, all of it.

  9. Direction Perfect 5.0
  10. Play Perfect 5.0
  11. Music Perfect 5.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.3

    Sophisticatedly Risqué

  15. Sex Titillating 1.6
  16. Violence Brutal 2.6
  17. Rudeness Profane 2.6
  18. Surreal 2.8

    Deeply Surreal due to being Circumstantially and Physically Supernatural albeit Biologically only Surreal.

    Movie reality aside, the fictional Grand Budapest Hotel imagines an Eastern European country in the general neighborhood of Ukraine. How that part of the world has suffered for the past century. Enough.

  19. Circumstantial Supernatural 3.1
  20. Biological Surreal 2.1
  21. Physical Supernatural 3.1


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Mar 30, 2014 12:28AM

Regarding BrianSez’s Review
“Regarding Ralph Fiennes – his bisexual perfectionist butler persona deserves major kudos, and Tony Revolori is as good as a side-kick as you’ll ever see.” Here! Here!

Mar 22, 2014 1:13PM

Regarding Wick’s Review
Yep, in the end this is likely to be one of his four IMDb Known For movies.

Mar 22, 2014 1:06PM

Regarding Wick’s Review
Great Movie! Ending the long dry spell for Ralph Feinnes since the English Patient