Monday, 10 March 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel

If you're a fan of quirky, eccentric and wonderfully delightful cinema then go and see The Grand Budapest Hotel immediately. It is truly beautiful and poetic such as films rarely are nowadays. The director is Wes Anderson who's CV includes Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and now The Grand Budapest Hotel.

My post is not truly continuing as it may seem as a simple plug/gush about how good this is but I encourage any fan of good cinema to see it. Whilst I sincerely dissmiss most cinemas these days as souless carriages of overpriced Box Office rubbish with a simple Popcorn and Drink seemingly doubling the ticket fee there is every now an again a film which warrants your discomfort and pain to experience something that transports you beyond reality into the field of fantasy of which I believe is the reason cinema exists. So please go see The Grand Budapest Hotel. I don't think you will regret it.

So no, I am not reviewing or posting to lament cinema or films state of reality. More to laud the beauty in sartorial ellegance and power of The Grand Budapest's design and aesthetic quality.

And this nomination for cinematic beauty goes to Milena Canonero the Costume designer of The Grand Budapest Hotel. Her Film credits are long and varied and include such works as The Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Ocean's Twelve and many of Wes Anderson's films. he clearly appreciates her vision and we are not disappointed with her latest venture here.


The film boast an array of outstanding acting hertiage but I will focus on the most powerful in their costume presence towards men's style. Whilst the outfits of TGBH may not be worn in everyday living they should certainly influence the trend towards the classic, traditional origins of todays suitings just as Robert Downey Jnr's Sherlock Holmes has. Incidently Jude Law is in both Sherlock Holmes and TGBH and perfectly attired in both as befits the character. I envy him.

So lets start with him. Jude Law:

Jude plays the young writer (Tom Wilkinson plays the present day older version and both are in identical costume) travelling alone in the now forlorn and soon to be demolished Grand Budapest Hotel and comes across a story that inspires a new book. Milena dresses him as a rather proper gentleman in heavy shooting tweed apparel with pipe to match. Smart, a little stuffy and shaded in earthy tones of oatmeal and beige.

Next is F. Murray Abraham who plays Zero the mysterious owner of TGBH who tells his story, of which the films plot follows.

We see him in two ages, as his younger self, and then in the late 60's when he meets the Young Writer Jude Law. His dress echoes a nostalgic stereotype of the 60's of someone garbed in turlenecks and wild facial hair. The velvet jacket he wears is a beautiful purple/blue contrasting nicely against the powerful red of his turtleneck.

Then is Ralph Fiennes as Gustave, The Grand Budapest Hotel's concierge, and a man of extreme servitude and loyalty to the excellence and honour of a type of Victorianesque habits. This is not set in England though. It's a fictional country in eastern europe called Zubrowka (a polish vodka is its namesake). His main costume is as the concierge and is as colouful as the film in general. Formal, impressive and immaculate.

The last I will do is Jeff Goldblum's character Deputy Kovacs. I could continue as this film is love letter to beautiful dress and many characters need at least small mention but have not the time or wish to do all and leave nothing to your hopefully soon visiti to see this gorgeous film

Deputy Kovacs tends to the dramatic in his manner as does his dress and Milena Canonera again gets it dead right. There is fussiness in his look and a grey overtone that may suggest a drab man but it is all elegantly entwined in such a style that speaks of the more businesslike gentleman of Milan. Large and wide peak lapels on his chalk stripe flannel suit match the man with a fantastic pair of spectacles which I must find out more about. He later wears a dove grey double breasted topcoat and and fedora (I think, will check).

All works to engance this great script and visual feast and transport us to a place and time that soothes us yet stimulates us. Like coffee. But one of those great artisan coffees that doesn't send bitter notes everywhere throughout the body and leaves us with demon breath for our friends and families to shy away from.

It lulls us and leads us gently by the hand somewhere wonderful. I suggest you go and see for yourself.