Jaewoo Kim’s review published on Letterboxd:
Now that I have seen the two films within a couple months, I can say with complete confidence and without hesitation that I truly believe that The Grand Budapest Hotel deserved its score win at the Oscars over Interstellar. This is one of the best I’ve ever heard. It’s playful, diverse, suspenseful, emotional, and everything in between.
But that’s not all.
There are three types of people in this world. The first has not seen any Wes Anderson films, to which I say, get on that ASAP. The second feels there is a limit to how stylish that Wes should get. The third feels no limit. I am firmly in the third camp, and the second group is insane. There’s something wrong with you if you’re in the second one, and I’m not going to apologize.
This is one of the best looking films ever made. Production design here is the best of the best. There is not a single bad looking frame, and the direction by Wes is unbelievably good. The camera work is on point, and every color works for their purpose. For those saying that this movie is style over substance, I would totally have to disagree, because the style actually works towards it. They accompany the narrative that they’re in.
And the narrative that they’re in is fantastic. It’s one deceptively emotional, yet delightfully ridiculous. It’s sooo funny. I think I laughed out loud approximately 50 million times. The fact that Wes was able to take this ambitious story and make it only 100 minutes, whilst never making it feel too rushed is mind-blowing. Add to that, there is not a single wasted second in this movie. The pace is sublime. Whenever it can, it puts in a sight gag or some character work or just moves the story in a very engaging way. The writing is sharp, clever, and entertaining. The use of swears is wonderful. The dialogue is masterful and the characters are well rounded.
And the cast is perfect. Just perfect. Ralph Fiennes is awards worthy as M. Gustave, giving one of my favorite comedic performances of all time. His delivery of the dialogue is incredible, and the scenes without words are amazing as well. He has great chemistry with Tony Revolori, who is really good as well. F. Murray Abraham plays the older version of Revolori’s character. Both actors are magnificent in portraying those two different versions of each other, capturing their differences and similarities. Both looking at the past, one nostalgiac for it, one frightened of it. Uhhhhhhskamdhkqmwvwfwqf. I love it! And then Willem Dafoe. Oh my god Willem Dafoe. I’m baffled as to why he’s such a good fit for this role. He brings a level of suspense to this movie that, just looking at the movie’s colorful style, seems impossible.
I mean, this movie is… just so good. I definitely had it too low on my list. Funny, yet tragic; cheery, yet empty; suspenseful, yet comforting; elegant, yet vulgar. It’s wonderful, it’s exquisite, it’s beautiful, it’s dynamite in the sack! To quote M. Gustave himself, “It’s a masterpiece.”