Saturday, 12 April 2014
Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel (second-pass)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (second-pass)
Cert: 15 / 100 mins / Dir. Wes Anderson
The great thing about viewing some films again (first review here)is that you can take your mind off the plot and just enjoy the performances. In this respect, The Grand Budapest Hotel will never get old. Fiennes' delivery and comic-timing is masterful, and a rewatch highlights the rest of the cast's skill in complementing this. That's not to say that the film belongs to Fiennes alone, but he's certainly in the spotlight. Filtered through so many narrative viewpoints that you're not expected to buy into the reality (or otherwise) of the story, the film has a unique atmosphere and charm, and is the result of the cast and crew all pulling uniformly in the same direction. Notably, Wes Anderson's direction.
The aspect-ratio switching and shot-framing are as much a part of the film as the cast and story, and both are far more apparent watching the film a second time (although I think it may be a little jarring watching for the first time on your TV). While it could certainly be argued that The Grand Budapest Hotel is self-indulgent, when the end product is this delicate it's entirely forgivable.
What struck me as odd is that in a film as meticulously framed as this, I spotted a low-level continuity error. The scene with Agatha and Zero in her bedroom/sleeping-quarters features two camera-shots, one of which has the strap of her nightdress on her shoulder, the other has it down on her arm. the only reason I noticed is because of the frequent switching between the two (and the point in the scene in which she adjusts it so that it's 'up', presumably for the next take). It's absolutely minor-league in terms of film-goofs, but all the more notable because of the film it's in. Unless it's deliberate, of course, right Wes?
That one is, yeah.
You won't lose the comedy by watching this at home, but the aspect ratio switches will work better in the cinema.
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
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