Road to the Oscars – The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Director: Wes Anderson
Screenplay: Wes Anderson
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Jude Law, Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton

* Contains spoilers *

Why it might win Best Picture
Of all eight films, The Grand Budapest Hotel is ultimately the most entertaining, which gives it one of the higher chances of winning. The film tells the story of Zero (Revolori), and young man hired to be the new lobby boy in the Grand Budapest Hotel, where M. Gustave (Fiennes), the hotel’s devoted concierge takes him under his wing to teach him how to be the best at what he does. M. Gustave is devoted to the clientele the point of seduction, and when one of his elderly dowager lovers is murdered and he becomes the main suspect, hilarity and chaos ensue. At the reading of the Dowager’s will it’s revealed that M. Gustave is the beneficiary of a priceless work of art. He and Zero steal it, and he ends up in prison. After charming one of the gangs in prison, the gang and M. Gustave escape and he and Zero head back to Zubrowka and the Grand Budapest to try and solve the Dowager’s murder. That synopsis, though, doesn’t even begin to touch on the many layers of the richly constructed and dashingly paced plot Anderson has crafted. The story is so witty and so full of madcap capers not often seen in cinema today that one can’t help but be immediately charmed by the jewel toned world of this middle-European hotel and it’s quirky characters. Ralph Fiennes is brilliant as M. Gustave, so delightful in every interaction with the other characters, and his friendship with Zero is full of kindness and tenderness. The cast as a whole (and there are a whole lot of them) work seamlessly together, even when they’re not together in a scene, which is the mark of Anderson’s wonderful direction and skilled storytelling. The strength of the film is its whole, and this is why it very well might win the statue. It’s a completely and utterly Wes Anderson film every second, every minute, from start to finish. Anderson has done what he does best: creating a delightfully odd, but totally charming world full of curtly polite, brutally honest and absurdly funny characters, set against the tapestry of a made up world that envelopes the audience from the first scene, and I believe this is what will sway voters to celebrate this marvelous film.

Why it might not win Best Picture
I think it might not win purely based on votes. I think too many people are enamoured with Boyhood and Birdman, and this could cost the film some votes. Though the fact that it won the Golden Globe in January for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy hopefully gave it some strength in the lead up to the Oscars. There’s honestly nothing I can critique the film for, it was a thoroughly enjoyable madcap romp, and in my personal opinion, the most entertaining Wes Anderson film to date.

Have you seen The Grand Budapest Hotel? I’d love to know what you thought!

Until next time,

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