The Grand Budapest Hotel ★★★★★

"...Did you just throw my cat out the window?"


Wes Anderson still has a perfect track record. This did not disappoint in the slightest. It exceeded all my expectations. Seriously. Wow.
My gosh.
Dem aspect ratios, man. Dat lighting. Dat awesomeness.
Dat quirkiness.
Dat beauty.
The story is easily Wes Anderson's darkest, most violent, and probably the film with the most moving parts. Tons of characters with great development. There's also a HUGE amount of suspense, and it's absolutely delightful.
The writing is of course, quite Wesy, but possibly even speedier, more witty, and more intelligent than many Wes Anderson films. The brilliance in the dialogue and the narration also works well with the quick camera movements.
And now, the acting. I think the most addressable talents here are Ralph Fiennes, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Tony Revolori, and Saiorse Ronan. But really, these are simply those that stand out the most among an absolutely perfect (and I do mean PERFECT) cast. Adrien Brody was absolutely amazing, especially when he curses without reason or an appropriate setting. Hilarious. Willem Dafoe was chilling as a dark assassin... sort of... thing. Not technically assassin. And Harvey Keitel was splendid while he was on screen, of course, covered in tattoos and constantly and unnecessarily flexing his muscles, specifically his pectorals.
We also have an immense amount of cameos, mostly by Wes Anderson regulars, such as Bill Muthaflippin' Murray, Owen Muthaflippin' Wilson, Edward Muthaflippin' Norton, Tilda Muthaflippin' Swinton, Bob Muthaflippin' Balaban, Wallace Muthaflippin' Wolodarsky, and Waris Muthaflippin' Ahluwalia.
Now, of course, I'll speak a bit about the two leads, who are also great, but that's to be expected. Ralph Fiennes' candor and pronunciation is splendid and intelligent-sounding. And Tony Revolori... well let's just say that I'm betting he'll become a Wes Anderson regular himself.
I had listened to Alexandre Desplat's soundtrack about twenty times. Yup. But I never imagined that it would be used THIS well. Every single time it's used, even if the song has been used at a different time in the film, it's just... awesome. Perfect collaboration between visuals and music.
Now really, Wes Anderson's style was less used in Moonrise Kingdom than it was used in his other films. But that was simply a temporary absence, for in this film, he is back in full force. He even expands upon his style (in Moonrise Kingdom I couldn't really call the differences in the style improvements... good but not improvements upon the style). In his trademark side-tracking shots, he adds alternating focus. For instance, as he tracks past a particularly interesting subject, he'll continue moving but continue to stare at this subject. Also, in his crash zooms, he adds some more emotion, becoming more intimate with his characters. Snow floats in several shots, adding even more beauty to the colorful, shockingly well lit shots.
In this film, Wes Anderson just goes wild. Casual violence and cursing is common in the fiilm, and it's just delightful. There's an escape scene involving two incredibly long (and I mean CRAZY long) ladders. There's a chase scene involving some stunning extreme-wide shots, skis and a sled. There's a creepy stalking scene. Some stunningly well-executed (hehe) death scenes. And a cat thrown out of a window. There's a motorcycle shot that seems to reference Fantastic Mr. Fox, and train shots that seem to reference The Darjeeling Limited. In this film, Wes Anderson constructs an absolutely incredible, likely Wes Anderson's best story. Ever. It has energy, and drama. Comedy, and romance.
I know I repeated some adjectives. But I don't entirely know how to perfectly describe this perfect film. I mean... honestly. I'm pretty sure this will be the very best film of 2014. My gosh.
This makes it all the way to second place in Wes Anderson's filmography.

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