Known for its cinematography and star-studded cast, The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of Wes Anderson’s greatest accomplishments. The plot follows a writer’s encounter with the owner of a high-end hotel as he recounts how the decadent residence came into his possession. The film stars Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Araham, Mathieu Amalric and Tony Revolori, but also features Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman and many other well-known performers. The script was inspired by the writings of Stefan Zweig and was created by Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness. Released in 2014, The Grand Budapest Hotel remains to be one of Anderson’s best films. Check out various screen facts below.
To become 84-year-old Madame D., Tilda Swinton spent five hours in the makeup chair. “We’re not usually working with a vast, Bruckheimer type budget on my films, so often we’re trying a work-around,” the director Wes Anderson said. “But for the old-age makeup, I just said, ‘let’s get the most expensive people we can.’”
For the men, Anderson instructed each of the male cast members to grow their head and facial hair for several months before production. Their hair was creatively styled when they arrived on set. “I think we certainly have the maximum supply of mustaches in this film,” Wes stated.
Devil in the Details
Wes Anderson’s films are known for their unique aesthetic – but it all comes with the price of intense details. One example of this in The Grand Budapest Hotel was a prop notebook for M. Gustave’s character, played by Ralph Fiennes. Annie Atkins, the graphic designer, originally got a notebook without lines in it. A discussion ensued that M. Gustave was an organized and meticulous person so he would prefer lines to write on. This resulted in the design department getting a new notebook made with lines in it. Atkins mentioned this many times in interviews to demonstrate how the devil is in the details, but stopped when it was continuously perceived that Fiennes was a set diva.
Many are shocked to find out The Grand Budapest Hotel is rated R by the MPAA. However, it received this rating for language, light sexual content and minor violence.
Props and Places
There are numerous fictitious props and places in The Grand Budapest Hotel. L’Air De Panache, or The Air of Plume in English, was produced by a Parisian fragrance boutique. The hotel’s signature treat, Courtisane au Chocolat by Mendls, wasn’t easy to bake. Saoirse Ronan, who plays Agatha in the film, said making the confections was a challenge.
In terms of places, the Republic of Zubrowka where The Grand Budapest Hotel resides was named after a Polish vodka liqueur. As for the hotel itself, Wes Anderson confessed the city of Prague was his main source of inspiration. Although, filming took place in the Saxony region of Germany.
The Grand Budapest Hotel was the highest grossing independent movie of 2014. It was also crowned the highest-grossing limited release movie in the same year. To date, this film is Wes Anderson’s highest grossing movie in his entire career.