Wes Anderson is not my favorite film writer/director working today. I find most of his movies pointless. They all seem to share a like vision but I guess I just do not understand or care about that vision. I can see what he is trying to do and I don’t want to bother. My favorite film of Anderson’s, The Darjeeling Limited, was less inane (in my opinion) than most of his films. But if there is one thing all of Andersons’ films share, it is that they are highly quirky. This might sound like I mean it as a bad thing – I do not. I like quirky. I just usually do not like Anderson’s brand of quirk. But in The Grand Budapest Hotel, the quirkiness works. Mostly everything works.

The best part of The Grand Budapest Hotel is the world Anderson creates. It’s unique, visually charming, and highly imaginative.

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A fabulous legal thriller that owes most of its points to the performance of Edward Norton, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role. A breakout role of Norton, the character he plays here is Aaron, a shy, stuttering young man who has many more layers than anyone gives him credit for. Aaron is accused of a heinous crime, which he is adamant he did not commit. Enter smug, self-obsessed attorney Martin Vail, who takes Aaron’s case because it’s assured a lot of publicity. Vale, in the beginning, couldn’t care less about Aaron, but as time passes and Aaron reveals more of himself to the lawyer, Martin warms to Aaron…some. But, just as he does…WHAM! A curve is thrown that keeps Vale and the audience guessing. But, this is not anywhere near as powerful as the final curve. As I said, this movie is really put over the top with Edward Norton’s portrayal of Aaron. The portrayal comes to fruition at the end. Call it the payoff. And, boy, it is a doozy!


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