THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

Talk about the polarizing effect of party tactics, money, special interests, and media fragmentation on contemporary politics, and I have to wonder if Wes Anderson is any less divisive.

Most people either love him or (even if afraid to admit it) hate him.

Put me in another camp. Let’s call it Camp Ambivalence.

I appreciate the distinctiveness of his vision, really like The Fantastic Mr. Fox and the relative sweetness of Moonrise Kingdom, and I find his movies interesting to look at (at least for an hour) but seldom very engaging otherwise.

As for The Grand Budapest Hotel, my trips to Eastern Europe (Tblisi, Georgia in 2000; Moscow and St. Petersburg in 2006; and, Prague in 2009) left me with a strong appreciation of the production design of this film, which ratcheted up the engagement level a bit.

That, and it would be hard to argue that Ralph Fiennes does not give a wonderful performance as a particular and very peculiar concierge at a luxury hotel between wars because he does!

Please don’t write to me that I am a humorless, out of touch drag just because I don’t love Wes Anderson the way you do. I recognize the amusing parts of his films but don’t experience them to the degree you do. This is not about me not “getting” it but about personal preference. Or, write me if you want to, but know that we will likely have to agree to disagree on this one.

Instead of sharing an image from the movie, how about this shot of a distinctive orange phone from an inexpensive hotel I stayed at in Prague. Couldn’t you just visualize something similar in The Grand Budapest Hotel in later years?

Prague phone in hotel room

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