“The Grand Budapest Hotel”

No one in Hollywood is embracing their creativity and individuality more so right now than Wes Anderson. And he always has. Look at any of his previous films and you will notice a style of film that no other director is even trying to touch. And with a record setting limited release box office this year and now this nomination, what an honor it must be for Anderson to finally get his overdue pat on the back. As good as “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is, and many critics will say its his masterpiece and best film yet, if by some miracle Anderson does win this award, it will feel like he won it because he was overdue. Personally, I have zero problems with this, because Anderson deserves an award. But you could argue he should have been acknowledged quite some time ago and for some of his better work. Regardless, a win for Anderson here is a win for creativity and being different.

To create your own style of film that could never be misconstrued for some other director’s is quite the feat these days, partially because big budget studios do not give their directors much freedom. But you can tell from Anderson’s films and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” in particular, compared to his other films, that he has complete control. You see a frame of his work and you know he’s behind it. Not only is he an auteur, but he brings the members of his team to an entirely new level. How else do you explain nine nominations this year, spanning most all of the major categories and some of the niche categories as well, including Production Design, Costume Design, and Makeup & Hairstyling? The man has a vision and carries it out with more creativity that any director in Hollywood. And with his gracious acceptance speech at the Golden Globes when “The Grand Budapest Hotel” won with a surprise win in the Best Picture – Comedy Or Musical, there’s really no telling if he’ll be able to pull off an upset here as well.

What’s his competition? As much as I would love to see Anderson win, my gut tells me it’s probably not going to happen. Right now, “Birdman” and “Boyhood” are the odds-on favorites to take the whole shebang. Not always, but usually, the Best Picture winner gets paired with a win in Best Directing, placing Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Richard Linklater in the top spots, both of whom took on niche passion projects this year. How does Anderson’s ode to all that is colorful and unique in his world compare to a film displayed as if it were one shot or a heartwarming story of a family that is literally growing up in front of your eyes? It’s a tough call. Because with Anderson’s style being somewhat eccentric, it places him in a separate category from directors like Iñárritu and Linklater. Now, their films might not necessarily be commercial, they are much more digestible by the general public. Odds are falling strongly in Linklater’s corner to win, with his twelve year masterpiece catching everyone’s eye. But with “Birdman” winning the PGA and the SAG ensemble, Iñárritu could pull of an upset. One thing no is predicting is Anderson for the win, which could create one of the biggest surprises of the night. With splits in Directing and Best Picture happening for the last two years now, I strongly predict a split this year as well, giving Anderson perhaps slightly better odds than he would have had a few years prior, but still putting him in as a long shot.

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// Produced by Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales, and Jeremy Dawson // Directed by Wes Anderson //
// Dated Viewed: Sunday, January 25th, 2015 // BLU-RAY //  33 films – 29 days //


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