Wes Anderson’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ Makes One Fall Head-Over Heels In Love With An Imaginary Place

A film review on one of Wes Anderson’s most delightful films

Genevieve York, Writer

I want you to imagine a whimsical atmosphere, unique characters, and an Instagram filter shoved into one box for a split second. 

Sounds interesting? 

If you open the box, you see that all three things have now been combined into one: Wes Anderson’s film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel gets a gold star from me with its unique plotline, entertaining cast, and magical undertones. 

Anderson’s unique directorial style shines throughout this movie. Anderson is one of the few directors I’ve seen use the same setting so frequently in this film and make it work. The Grand Budapest Hotel itself feels like its own character in this movie, and I love it. The Grand Budapest is located in the fictional country of Zubrowka. The hotel is placed amongst snowy pine trees and resembles the sweet coconut ice(in my humble opinion). Wes Anderson is known for using color throughout his films, using color saturation or camera lenses to highlight specific colors and how they correlate with the film. No surprise that the same technique is used in the GBH; Anderson uses pinks and pastels to make the setting seem like something out of a sugar wonderland. The primary use of pink provides the environment and atmosphere with a doll-house-like feel, and the sprinkles of blue provide the perfect contrast making me want to delve right into this world.

The Grand Budapest Hotel 1932, at its arguable peak

Sadly, people don’t go to the GBH for its exquisite architecture or get away from the impending war in Zubrowka. They come specifically for one thing.

The bright pink hotel is home to Gustave H, the head concierge of The Grand Budapest. Ralph Fiennes’s portrayal of Gustave is incredible as Fiennes can maintain the perfect facial expressions and body language cues while saying his lines. Anderson can make the blunt ladies’ man a fan favorite while he uncovers a murder mystery with his lobby boy Zero.

While I do love this movie, one thing that was a bit frustrating was the movie’s pace. Although the plot is amusing and a grasping concept, the movie’s ending did feel rushed and not finished. The beginning of GBH is well planned and easy to follow. A simple object such as a painting becomes the main focal point for the characters as they go through life-risking situations to protect it. But (and spoilers ahead) once Gustav is placed into jail, the movie begins to move at hyper speed. It can somewhat distort watching the film at times as viewers don’t get to process the end of the storyline fully.

Ralph Finesse and Tony Revolori as the fan-favorite in The Grand Budapest Hotel













Despite the one negative of the unfortunate pacing of the Grand Budapest Hotel, the movie itself is incredible; it was one of my first Wes Anderson films and held a special place in my heart as a fan of his films. The re-occurring cast is somewhat reassuring as fans get to see their favorite actors play a nuance of different characters. I highly recommend this movie if you’re looking for something different, contrasting to what we see today in Hollywood. The Grand Budapest Hotel gets a 9/10, a score I think it to be highly deserving of. 

An amazing reveiw on the film by A.O. Scott