Freitag, 7. Februar 2014

Berlinale: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson's movies are always bursting at the seams with elaborate set pieces sculpted to such pathological detail they're like the collective wet dreams of every art director out there. "The Grand Budapest Hotel" is certainly no exception, in fact it just might be the prettiest of them all. Whether it be the wintry fairyland of the Alpine exterior or the era-hopping interior design- from turn-of-the-century opulence of old Europe to the utilitarian, ruthless beige of Communist days- virtually every frame of this film looks good enough to eat. Cruising through the lobby, corridors and dining hall of the hotel being greeted by explosions of macaron colors, especially, is like dying and going straight to Ladurée heaven and you just don't want to leave.

What makes this movie a doubly enjoyable experience is that for once, its story is actually coherent and juicy enough to match all that aesthetic indulgence. Packed into its 100 minutes are a murder mystery, family plot, prison break and above all the moving tale of a young man finding his place in the world through the guidance of a cultured concierge holding on to his last days of glory. Coupled with an impeccable cast led by Ralph Fiennes, who seems to have found the role he's born to play in the wonderful creation that is Gustave H., and all the usual ticks and tricks of Anderson that could be annoying and so soullessly theatrical reveal themselves to be endearing magnifications of relatable, vivid characteristics with way more than just neurotic face value.

Realized with dazzling imagination and undeniable finess, filled with visual cues and literary references to flairs and ages past, this movie is a delight from start to finish.

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