“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is like your favorite rock band. You probably started off going to their shows at intimate venues with hardly any crowds and the next thing you know, they’re selling out the Staples Center and winning Grammys. Everyone is listening to them now and tickets that used to cost $10-$20 are more like $80-$100 or more. That’s what I feel like this Oscar nomination does for “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. Now, I am not making the comparison to be cynical about the situation and say, “well I listened to them before they were cool!” Quite the contrary… I was late to the Wes Anderson party too, having seen “Rushmore” and “The Royal Tenenbaums” when I fell madly in love with “Fantastic Mr. Fox” in 2009. From that point on, I watched all his films and adored his style of film-making, which was truly unique and all his own. Following “Mr. Fox” came “Moonrise Kingdom,” to which I also adored and then last year’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. The best similarity to the rock band situation I can make is going to see his two latest films at the same theater two years apart. One year, for “Moonrise Kingdom,” tickets were easy to get the day of just by walking into the theater. Two years later and booking tickets a few days in advance was a necessity, as it eventually would break records. Though Anderson has definitely always been more popular in the arthouse circles, he’s definitely gone general audiences now. And rightfully so.

Many who have followed him are calling “The Grand Budapest Hotel” one of Wes Anderson’s best films yet, complete with his distinct style and attention to detail. Just to receive nine nominations at this year’s Academy Awards feels like a big enough win in my book, someone who has been a fan of his for quite some time. Diving into the tales of Monsieur Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) and his young apprentice lobby boy, Zero (newcomer Tony Revolori) at the Grand Budapest Hotel, the story specifically highlights a murder mystery involving one of the most prominent guests of the hotel and one of Gustave’s elderly lovers, Madame D. When she wills Gustave a priceless painting titled “Boy With Apple,” Madame’s greedy son, Dmitri

Of its nine nominations, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” lands as an odds-on favorite in a few of them including Best Production Design and Best Costume Design. Most pundits are even placing it to win for Best Original Screenplay, above “Birdman” and “Boyhood” which are its two biggest rivals in the Best Picture category, to which it will most likely lose. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” will also likely not be taking Best Film Editing or Best Directing, with too much competition in both categories. And it could come down to the wire in Best Original Score, as Alexandre Desplat has multiple nominations, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, depending on whether the Academy decides to honor full-blown makeup (“Guardians Of The Galaxy”) over subtlety, and Best Cinematography, with “Birdman’s” one take visage likely overshadowing the amazing framing of Robert Yeoman.

What’s its competition? Even though it won a Golden Globe for Best Picture – Comedy Or Musical, an Academy Award Best Picture win is likely out of the cards. “Birdman” has been checking the right boxes ever since losing at the Globes, winning the top honors from the PGA and the SAG ensemble, which are huge Best Picture winner indicators. The twelve-year-process of “Boyhood” is also making a case for Best Picture, with Richard Linklater a shoe-in for Best Directing. Were “The Grand Budapest Hotel” able to win Best Picture for some reason or another, it would likely be one of the biggest upsets in Oscars history. However, with nine nominations, which is tied for the most this year with “Birdman,” expect it to absolutely win some awards, which is more than we’ve been able to say for any of his other films.

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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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