It’s plain to see that in The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), there’s no attempt to make the movie realistic. Everything from the acting to the cinematography is artificially and meticulously calculated. The movements of the character are melodramatic, with obvious precision and rhythm whereas the composition and the color schemes of every single frame are deliberately made as a painting in itself, with great care, and on that account, Wes Anderson seems to go against the cinematic principle saying that movies should give a realistic feel.
Even though there are references to real-world historical events, The Grand Budapest Hotel’s main plot revolves around a personal story, that of Zero, a lobby boy, and his mentor, the concierge Gustave H (The fact that it mentions Fascism somewhat reminds me of Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón’s Pan’s Labyrinth). However, such story by Zero is in its turn part of the narration of a character who is thought to be loosely based on the Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig. In other words, it’s a story within a story within a movie.
If I were a hotel manager, this would no doubt be my favorite movie. It depicts the hospitality industry as an institution with networks that only insiders know, and with tradition preserved by the generations of mentors and mentees. The concierges always mind their manners regardless of the urgency of their situation. Gustave himself consistently keeps his elegance and poeticness under control.
To be frank, I think his world had vanished long before he ever entered it. But I will say, he certainly sustained the illusion with a marvelous grace.