The Grand Budapest Hotel

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Postby ITALIANO » Wed May 14, 2014 8:23 am

Mister Tee wrote:When I said the film wasn't likely to win over Anderson skeptics, I had in mind that the idiosyncratic style -- the staccato rhythms, the jokiness -- was still very much there, so anyone who'd loathed his earlier films would have no reason to switch sides. What I underestimated, I think, was the power of the film's subtext -- the idea of an elegant, civilized, perhaps mythical Europe of another era that the Nazis pulverized -- that seems to have overridden the esthetic objections of many. Certainly Europeans are responding to the film in way greater numbers than usual, and maybe even some older Americans (the Academy WWII obsessers) are taking the film to heart.
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I dont't know about the US, but yes, this movie is rignt now a huge hit in Europe - and for example the cinema I went to was completely full. And yesterday, the day of the David nominations - this is, of course, the Italian equivalent of the Oscars - Grand Budapest Hotel got what is probably its first nomination ever, as Best Foreign Film (produced out of the European Union), along with 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Blue Jasmine and Wolf of Wall Street. The difference is that these four were shown, even in Italy, months ago, and were already celebrated and honored, while Wes Anderson's movie is really new, and could only count on the extremely positive reviews and the big box-office. (The David considers its year of eligibility from Spring to Spring, more or less). Even my parents loved it, and they are in their 70s.

It is a very American movie, yet it "gets" Europe - a certain kind of old, vanished and by now mythical Europe - in a way that not many American movies, and few European movies, have done, at least recently. In a perfect world, it would be considered for at least Best Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actor, Original Screemplay and Art Direction at next year's Oscars. Art Direction is the only nomination which is, I'd say, 100% sure right now - and trust me, I've been to this kind of hotels in Eastern Europe right before or right after the fall of the Communist regimes - the recreation of the place especially in the Law-Abraham scenes is perfect. Just perfect.

It's too early now to make predictions, though the 10-available-slots for Best Picture will make a nomination there possible . Still - there are problems, and one is certainly the often-mentioned early opening. But another, subtle one is - it's easy to mistake it for a "light" effort. Which it isn't, of course - by American standards, it's actually a movie full of education, of culture - still it can be superficially considered "light". And this, I'm afraid, can prevent it from getting what it really deserves.

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Postby FilmFan720 » Tue May 13, 2014 4:43 pm

Whoops.
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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Postby Mister Tee » Tue May 13, 2014 10:59 am

FilmFan720 wrote:Anderson does have three nominations to his name already, so it's not like he is completely out of the game. That's a lot more than those other film makers had before their "Oscar breakthrough."

I haven't seen GBH yet, so I'm no the best person to bring this up, but for a filmmaker to break out of the Oscar gutter NSF into the BP race (and become presumptive nominees yearly), they need to come up with so,etching that is either universally hailed as an instant classic (Fargo, Unforgiven, There Will Be Blood, Annie Hall) or meld their I depend at vision into a more Oscar friendly genre (Benjamin Button, Hurt Locker, The Fighter). GBH certainly isn't in the first category, though the reviews are excellent, but it may fall squarely into the latter.

This was clearly sent from a Steve Job product, with its infernal automatic-correct.

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Postby FilmFan720 » Tue May 13, 2014 10:08 am

Anderson does have three nominations to his name already, so it's not like he is completely out of the game. That's a lot more than those other film makers had before their "Oscar breakthrough."

I haven't seen GBH yet, so I'm no the best person to bring this up, but for a filmmaker to break out of the Oscar gutter and into the BP race (and become presumptive nominees yearly), they need to come up with something that is either universally hailed as an instant classic (Fargo, Unforgiven, There Will Be Blood, Annie Hall) or meld their independent vision into a more Oscar friendly genre (Benjamin Button, Hurt Locker, The Fighter). GBH certainly isn't in the first category, though the reviews are excellent, but it may fall squarely into the latter.
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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Postby The Original BJ » Tue May 13, 2014 4:23 am

You know, it's interesting how often filmmakers can work for years with barely any attention from the Oscars...and then suddenly become perennial heavyweights. In addition to the Coen brothers, David O. Russell, David Fincher, and Katheryn Bigelow would clearly fit that bill, and going further back, Woody Allen and Clint Eastwood would as well.

Not sure what this means for Grand Budapest -- Wes Anderson is an acquired taste the Oscars don't seem to have acquired yet, but nor is he so outside the mainstream that it seems impossible that a major invitation to the club couldn't come along at some point.

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Postby Mister Tee » Mon May 12, 2014 7:31 pm

When I said the film wasn't likely to win over Anderson skeptics, I had in mind that the idiosyncratic style -- the staccato rhythms, the jokiness -- was still very much there, so anyone who'd loathed his earlier films would have no reason to switch sides. What I underestimated, I think, was the power of the film's subtext -- the idea of an elegant, civilized, perhaps mythical Europe of another era that the Nazis pulverized -- that seems to have overridden the esthetic objections of many. Certainly Europeans are responding to the film in way greater numbers than usual, and maybe even some older Americans (the Academy WWII obsessers) are taking the film to heart.

You can certainly say Moonrise Kingdom, with its near-the-same domestic gross, also seemed to have won over the crowd yet failed to score at the Oscars beyond the screenplay nod. But Moonrise came along in a very competitive year. The past two years were really stacked with Academy hopefuls -- not simply because there were so many good films, but because so many of our best directors churned out work: Spielberg, Tarantino, Ang Lee, Bigelow in '12, Cuaron, Payne, the Coens, Scorsese, Jonze in '13 (and David O. Russell in both). These are filmmakers whose every effort is automatically considered an Oscar hopeful, and in the past two years they've squeezed out some smaller efforts that might have qualified in a less crowded year.

We of course can't know till mid-Fall, at least, just what kind of year it's going to be, but based on the directors with films scheduled, it seems a more lean year than the past two. Apart from PTAnderson, maybe Bennett Miller, Tim Burton, J.C. Chandor, and David Fincher (working in populist mode, closer to Dragon Tattoo than Social Network), I don't see all that much on the horizon. Budapest may turn out to be one of BJ's bird-in-hand candidates.

And as far as "they never nominate Wes Anderson" -- the Coens were around for over a decade, exciting critics but getting mostly nothing from the Academy, until Fargo got them all kinds of attention. Frances McDormand seemed to be the awards-igniter there; maybe European nostalgia can play that same role for Grand Budapest.

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Postby Sabin » Mon May 12, 2014 10:57 am

My 62 year old father who has never liked anything by Wes Anderson before loves The Grand Budapest Hotel. So do several members of my family who before have publicly gone on record as loathing the filmmaker. Now sitting at $53 million, it's theater count has dropped about two hundred in the past two weeks so Fox Searchlight is clearly done expanding it. It'll likely round out its run as Wes Anderson's biggest hit hovering under $60 million. Considering it currently hasn't made ten million more than Moonrise Kingdom (and The Royal Tenenbaums made $50 back in 2001), calling The Grand Budapest Hotel Wes Anderson's definitive box office breakthrough might seem a little bit overstated. Then you look at the foreign box office. This thing has taken in $93 million overseas. The Grand Budapest Hotel has made almost $150 million! This is a huge hit for the filmmaker.

There is absolutely no way of knowing whether or not it will get a Best Picture nomination before we see anything else this year has to offer. RIght now, it can only be considered a maybe. It'll likely be in the conversation. It's going to get Golden Globe nominations for Best Comedic or Musical Picture and for Ralph Fiennes. Maybe for Best Screenplay. So it's going to be his most nominated film by the Hollywood Foreign Press. It's totally possible. Part of me wants to say The Grand Budapest Hotel will see itself nominated for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Production Design next year, but the other part of me says "No, this is a Wes Anderson film and Wes Anderson films do not get nominated for Best Picture."
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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Postby ITALIANO » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:56 pm

Mister Tee wrote: It's not likely to win converts to the Anderson cause


It won at least one - me. This is the first time I completely enjoyed a Wes Anderson movie (I must admit that I haven't seen too many though) - maybe because it's at least partly a tribute to a vanished Europe and to a vanished kind of cinema, which I both love.

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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Postby ksrymy » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:16 am

Mister Tee wrote:It's not likely to win converts to the Anderson cause

Chalk me up as one of the converts. Tenenbaums and Rushmore are the only Anderson films I think rise above mediocrity, but Budapest is simply amazing. I thought Anderson dropped a lot of his usual quirkiness to focus on the little, important intricacies in the plot.
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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Postby Sabin » Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:47 pm

No idea when I'll have more to write about this film, but I close to totally love it. It's probably Wes Anderson's best control freak film since The Royal Tenenbaums. It's a film of refined knuckleheadery, a whirligig cuckoo clock with a shadow of mortality hanging over it. It's his bloodiest film, for sure, but death is something that largely happens off-screen. The story of life keeps going and you're no longer a part of it. It has the most off-hand melancholy of any Wes Anderson film, and it worked wonderfully. It's beautifully written, but above all it's the work of a director, one who understands space, movement, and architecture.

I view Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, and The Royal Tenenbaums as the evolution of Wes Anderson's voice. I view The Life Aquatic, The Darjeeling Limited, and Fantastic Mr. Fox largely as explorations of self-absorbed mid-life crisis (even in The Darjeeling Limited), searching for larger meaning in new waters. These three films are about personality, ironic detachment at war with an adolescent, perhaps vestigial sense of entitlement. Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel are works of canvas. Moonrise sets the scene and we don't even see the kids start to run away. They're gone! And The Grand Budapest Hotel is much the same way. These two films feel as though they are just as much about the world spinning as characters running. And also, of course, feature-length musical orchestration. Alexandre Desplat's music is exceptional. You won't want to leave during the credits, but if you feel like doing so do hang on and wait for a wonderful, little dancing Russian man who puts on a delightful little show.
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Re: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Postby MovieFan » Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:27 pm

Really looking forward to seeing this. Do you think Fiennes could be a contender, hes getting pretty much raves across the board for his comedic performance.

He should be a lock for Golden Globe Musical Comedy Best Actor.

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The Grand Budapest Hotel

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:20 am

I may write more on this later -- after I've slain the Who'll Be Back? monster -- but, in brief:

I enjoyed the movie a great deal, though it sagged a bit in the second hour. It's not likely to win converts to the Anderson cause -- it's very much of a piece with his previous output -- but the underlay of melancholy beneath the surface whimsy makes me rate it higher than most.

Ralph Fiennes is wonderful; his best work in a long time.

The Oscars are of course almost a year away, but if this isn't nominated for at least production design it will be an outrage.


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