written & directed by Wes Anderson
[director filmography: Moonrise Kingdom (2012), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), The Darjeeling Unlimited (2007), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Rushmore (1998), Bottle Rocket (1996)]
starring Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson & Tony Revolori as Zero
ENJOYMENT: ***** (out of 5)
"Top Five of the Year"
So, I have to write about The Grand Budapest Hotel. I saw it back in the spring when it came out and I liked it, but I didn't really love it until I watched it again at home recently. I am a fan of Wes Anderson, sure, but usually I just don't understand the fascination with him. He always makes very imaginative films with huge ensemble casts and the film industry definitely wouldn't be the same without him, but his films always seem to feel too much in the realm of fantasy and never really resonate with me. I always manage to respect them though. The one previous exception, of course, is Fantastic Mr. Fox. That is one of my feel-good movies I can watch over and over. But now I have a new Wes Anderson film in the mix. The Grand Budapest Hotel is so clever, so funny, so fun and such an all-around remarkable story with incredible filmmaking that I had to make sure I acknowledged it before the Oscars on Sunday. Anyway, now that it's acknowledged, I think all I will say is that I loved it and if you're a Wes Anderson fan you will love it too. If you're not a Wes Anderson fan, however, or have no idea who this man is, then this is the film you should watch to give him a chance. Even if it's another chance. It is sure to delight.
OSCAR PREDICTIONS: The Grand Budapest Hotel gets my prediction for Best Original Screenplay this year. If it was any other year, Ralph Fiennes probably would've gotten a Best Actor nomination, but it was a very competitive category. This film could win Best Picture -- at least I could see it happen -- but it's probably third in line. Wes Anderson probably won't win Best Director, but I could definitely see it happen. Let's just say that this movie deserves any positive attention it receives.
Other ratings: IMDB (8.1/10, #186 on Top 250), Rotten Tomatoes (92%)