Vacancy at the Grand Budapest Hotel
A woman reads a book in present day that flashes back to the author narrating about the story of the book and how it came to be that flashes back to 1968 when the author learned the story that flashes back to 1932 and the beginning of the war. Like Austin Powers warned – don’t think about it too hard or you’ll go cross-eyed.
Stylistic images, quick cuts and staccato dialogues mark this Wes Anderson film for better or worse. As if taking a cue from the Muppets Most Wanted or Draft Day, this film is chock full of cameos and big name stars.
The ensemble cast is a who’s who list of atypical Hollywood stars with the exception of Jude Law and Ralph Fiennes who are more typical of Hollywood at least in appearances. The film wants to be madcap without being zany.
The audience at the preview applauded. I, however, left the theater wondering what I had just watched. Was this the new generation of Monty Python – boring to watch but redeemed by the hours spent recounting the jokes and absurd situations presented in the film? Or was it the type of film that people go to see so that they can feel like they have just watched an art film without having to actually have watched an art film?
Anderson, known for films like The Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Royal Tenenbaums, brings together stars like Bill Murray, Willam Dafoe and Owen Wilson, but there isn’t anything to this story. There is nothing to think about; there is no reason for this film. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I expect more from any film that isn’t a Hollywood blockbuster. There should be at least a character to care about or some message; instead, the film is as empty and desolate as the place where the Grand Budapest Hotel once stood. (The website has more substance to it.)
See Romney's Review of the Grand Budapest Hotel