Not since Nicolas Refn’s Only God Forgives has this reviewer seen such a shameless triumph of style over substance. Overrated Rushmore auteur Wes Anderson, the most artificial of all filmmakers, delivers in Grand Budapest Hotel a work that is less a movie than a succession of fetishistic explorations of elegant line and symmetry and fastidiously composed tableaux of actors making eccentric faces and striking unnatural poses. Anderson’s admirers will probably enjoy this nonlinear, tonally anachronistic account of the various characters – several big name actors in small parts among them – whose lives revolve around the titular luxury accommodation. Others are, however, advised to seek their lodgings elsewhere.
3.5 of 5 possible stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that The Grand Budapest Hotel is:
8. Anti-gun. An absurd and needlessly destructive gunfight erupts in the middle of the hotel.
7. Anti-slut. It is Agatha’s (Saoirse Ronan – worst name ever?) purity that makes her attractive.
6. Anti-Christian. Lobby boy Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori) pushes over a piece of religious statuary, breaking it into pieces.
5. Anti-fascist (i.e., pro-yawn). “I find these black uniforms very drab.”
4. Pro-gay. Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes) is a stylish and comfortable bisexual, prompting bigoted bad guy Dmitri (Adrien Brody) to call him a “fruit” and a “faggot”.
3. Anti-white. The hotel’s clientele is described as “rich, old, insecure, vain, superficial, blonde, needy.” “Why blonde?” “Because they all were.”
2. Pro-immigration and pro-miscegenation. “You can’t arrest him simply because he’s a bloody immigrant. He hasn’t done anything wrong.” Agatha’s marriage to immigrant Zero endorses the dissolution of national identities and, in view of her Mexico-shaped birthmark, advertises its relevance to the present Mestizo settler colonization of the United States.
1. Zionist. The Grand Budapest Hotel evinces a very Jewish sensibility, racking up a few extra shabbos goy points for the director, and The Jewish Daily Forward‘s review of the film is actually titled “How Wes Anderson Became a Jewish Emigre Director“. In a ridiculous reversal of the real world, Jeff Goldblum plays a Jewish attorney as an exemplar of moral rectitude who is mutilated and murdered by vampiric gentile Willem Dafoe. Alluding obliquely to the “Holocaust”, the film notes that Agatha dies of a “Prussian” disease. “Today, we treat it in a single week, but in those days, many millions died.”