I first heard about Wes Anderson about two years ago and decided to watch the most acclaimed movie of his until that point, which was "Moonrise Kingdom", and i thought that the movie was awful, no story just style, very boring, waste of talent, and completely absurd, but i thought it as no big deal, because many of the critically acclaimed movies are trash. but in 2014, i heard about this movie, and decided not to watch it because it's Wes Anderson again, but then it received 9 Oscar nominations including 'best picture', so, i thought hey "it's Wes Anderson again, but maybe he decided to add a story this time, not just the style" and i was completely wrong, as this movie is slightly better than 'Moonrise kingdom' which is still pretty awful.
Okay, first of all, the idea of switching the resolution to 16*9 is stupid, i mean, why would i do that in order to watch a movie? what, now, wide screen is too mainstream? and it isn't 16*9 entirely, because when Mr. Moustafa narrate the story, it's 16*9, but when we see him talk with the writer (played by Jude Law), it's wide screen again, and that's pretty awful way to start your movie.
The movie starts with a girl grabbing a book, reading from 'Mr. Writer' who was played by Jude Law when he's younger, and Tom Wilkinson when he's older, which tells the story of Zero Moustafa, whose narrating the story of him escaping his town after the war and how he came to work as a lobby boy for M. Gustave in the Grand Budapest Hotel. M Gustave is the owner of this very fancy Hotel in which most of his clients, are older women, including Madame D. (played by Tilda Swinton) who leaves him a very expensive and rare painting (called 'Apple Boy') after she dies. not willing to give it away are her family, mostly her sons, Dmitri (played by Adrien Brody) and her assassin's looking other son Jopling (played by Willem Dafoe), so M. Gustave decided to steal the painting, with the help of zero, promising him a percentage of the money if he sold it. M. Gustave then gets imprisoned for stealing and start planing a way out of prison with his cell buddies.
To give credit when credit is due, the movie looked awesome, although, a square screen doesn't let you fully appreciate the cinematography, but it was great nonetheless, there was intently noticeable amount of camera work, and the production design was masterful, and filled with so many details, and it helped switching from one scene to another by simply switching the camera to the right, left, up or down. there's also that symmetric thing that Wes Anderson's fans crazy about, which i don't find very useful, i mean, yeah, all frames looked beautiful but it's a movie not a picture slide show, specially that Wes Anderson forced so many frames just for the sake of looking beautiful, not for the sake of being logical at all. most of the time, he's just trying to fit as much people as he can in one frame, sometimes, it doesn't make any sense, like when, M. Gustave got imprisoned, and send a word to his hotel staff, with some poetry at the end, they showed M. Gustave in one frame with all the prisoners and the security all at once just standing behind him, which is like a WTF thing, and maybe this is just me, but i don't think this symmetric thing allow actors to explore/react/move because they should be standing at the same point until the end of the scene.
The movie had an obscene amount of wasted talents, it's shocking and irritating, and the most wasted cast since 'Moonrise Kingdom'. so many good actors are there just to make the frame look famous, there was not much to it, most of them didn't even have screen time, or had but few unmemorable lines, which is weird, since most of them, are A-listers, so the fact that they were brought up for the shortest cameos ever, just goes to prove that they either came for a curtsy of someone, or, were offered a large amount of money, because none of them even make a semi-impact line.
The performances were mostly good, specially by Ralph Fiennes, but the "humor" weren't working for me most of the time. at some points, i was asking myself, 'should i laugh now?' and i'm crazy about dark/black comedy, but the writing in this one was too sophisticated to be funny, and you can tell, they're trying to build this sophisticated atmosphere by using these fancy words, and the movie had a terrible ending, just stupid, semi-depressing ending (if you cared enough). the way they closed the story was not necessary at all nor funny.
Overall, i think it was a movie to showcase style, cinematography and production design featuring some good looking people staring at you from across the screen, not more, so, this wasn't my cup of tee and it won't be your's if you're not a fan of Wes Anderson, it's mostly for hipsters, and people who seeks something different from mainstream or indie movies, and i don't think the academy nominations are going to change my mind about this trashy flick.