THE GRAND BUDAPEST CRITERION COLLECTION BLU RAY REVIEW

At first, you enter the beautifully built world of Anderson and wonder quite what awaits you. In some of his earlier films, it has been an intense reflection on adulthood, fatherhood, love and dreams. In so much as I could then, I rejected it. Today after a long time in the dark, I have come around to this powerful auteur vision. A vision that transposes a tale and its telling. A vision that seems to richly extract the essence of a thing but also leaves the viewer, fulfilled and thankful for time well spent.

1932, Zero (Tony Revolori) is newly hired as a lobby boy at the prestigious Grand Budapest Hotel. Monsieur Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), is the concierge and a seducer of old, wealthy women. 84-year-old dowager Madame D (Tilda Swinton) with whom he has had a nearly two-decade affair returns home and dies. He and Zero visit Schloss Lutz, her estate, to pay their respects. Setting off a chain reaction of events that will lead to a chase and a fight for freedom.

The level of whimsy in Wes Anderson films possibly was often my issue with the later works of a man that gave us BOTTLE ROCKET.  On returning to his earlier films (thanks to Criterion), I have begun to see how Anderson migrated his focus. Penetrating the idea of the story via narrative and the majesty of the telling. Here in THE GRAND BUDAPEST, he almost perfects it to the ultimate homage to the story and its telling. Cementing the story with a keen sense of world building that often is as much food for the eyes as the mind. A place and a taste its own. It truly is cinema at it most delicious and delightful.

DISC

Has the 2K done its thing about the 1080p release in the UK? Well yes in a way it has. The step up is clear but so is the colour glow of that yellow hue. This leaves certain scenes with an odd glow which I for one noticed more than I should. As Anderson over saw this, I suspect he wanted it that way and who am I to question.

EXTRAS

New audio commentary featuring Anderson, filmmaker Roman Coppola, and actor Jeff Goldblum. Well worth a run around. More so for Goldblum. He is witty and embraces the creatives and the creation. To truly enjoy this, you can simply have it as a voice talking to you and ignore some of the film as it flows along.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• 2K digital transfer, supervised by director Wes Anderson, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
• New audio commentary featuring Anderson, filmmaker Roman Coppola, and actor Jeff Goldblum
• Selected-scene storyboard animatics
• The Making of “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” a new documentary about the film
• New interviews with the cast and crew
• Video essays from 2015 and 2020 by critic Matt Zoller Seitz and film scholar David Bordwell
• Behind-the-scenes, special-effects, and test footage
• Trailer
• PLUS: Two pieces by critic Richard Brody and a double-sided poster and other ephemera

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