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.
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.