drwex (drwex) wrote,
drwex
drwex

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We Saw Grand Budapest Hotel and it was Bittersweet

To say that this movie has an "all star cast" is to underrate it. When you lead the list with Ralph Fiennes and F. Murray Abraham and practically everyone else is a Name, then throw in a dozen delightful cameos, you get the sense that everyone in Hollywood wanted to be part of Wes Anderson's adventure. 4/5 and a good time, but bring a tissue.

I can't blame people for wanting to be in this film - it's a delightful adventure. The only thing that prevents it being entirely delightful is the fact that the story is told as a past history from more modern times. So you know right away what will happen to some of the characters and all that remains is finding out how it happens. That said, we don't get many bittersweet comedies these days - we get lots of farces, and a few black comedies, but I don't recall the last time I sat down to a comedic movie that was both this sad and made me laugh out loud as much. Watching the trailers I started thinking it was more Pink Panther-esque but it's really not. It's fast-paced dialog, a little bit of slapstick action, and a great deal of social commentary.

If I have to make one complaint about the movie, it's that it is too much a "guy" film. The two women who have significant, if minor, parts, are excellent. Saoirse Ronan is exactly everything M. Gustave describes her as - a lovely passage I won't spoil here. And Tilda Swinton is hilariously over-the-top as the aging and possibly paranoid Madame D. But the movie is about a man and his (male) protege and Anderson doesn't create significant space for women in the story. You could argue that the setting - a thinly disguised European country in the early 20th century - doesn't naturally provide such space, but I'd argue that the film's story could easily have accommodated more.
Tags: movie, review
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