The Grand Budapest Hotel ★★★★½

Chatting to a girl at work yesterday, I said I was off to see The Grand Budapest Hotel later that evening and she mentioned how she wasn't a Wes Anderson fan. In fact, she actively disliked him. I asked if she would call herself a fan of cinema and she said yes, a big one. And I told her it wasn't possible to love cinema and hate Wes Anderson because everything he does is a love letter to film making and movies.

If I believed that then I believe it many times over after watching his latest film. It's the most exquisitely crafted piece, much like a dessert from Mendel's, everything is layered, everything is beautiful and everything works together to make something completely stunning. It's all about layers and angles, ladders up, lifts down, frame shifting left and right, symmetry and balance. Anderson fills the frame with so much detail, he lets the camera observe instead of going in for showy hand-held shots or anything too flashy. You could watch this film ten times and never see all the detail, all the many layers.

The casting is wonderful and makes me wonder why Ralph Fiennes hasn't starred in more Anderson films. He fits into the world so neatly, it's like he was there all along. Perhaps that's what I love the most about Anderson's films - the way he creates a world that has hints of our own, but exists only in someones wildest imagination. And what an imagination it is. All the pastel colours, the beautiful old school backdrop paintings, the intricate costuming, the mad caper film aspect to it all and the generally awe inspiring locations. Not to mention the great Inception-esque story telling device. A woman reading a novel about a story that was told to the author by a man who lived it - but it was really about someone else. It could have easily fallen down into a great mess, but it never does. Just like the wonderful Monsieur Gustave, Anderson keeps everything running impeccably and I can't help but be ever grateful for it.

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