Release: 22nd February 2021
A writer encounters the owner of an aging high-class hotel, who tells him of his early years serving as a lobby boy in the hotel’s glorious years under an exceptional concierge.
What can be said about this Criterion release of The Grand Budapest Hotel? Well, it looks good. Colours are deep, and the soundtrack is a mixture of subtle artistry and whimsical nostalgia. It is from a 2K scan, and…well, it is exactly the same print that the original home entertainment released received. So, why bother? Well, there are two reasons that GBH deserves a Criterion release, the first relates to cultivation and conservation. The other is all about them special features, baby!
Wes Anderson is one of a few directors who seemingly gets an automatic entry to the Criterion catalogue with every film he makes, and for good reason. In its own words, Criterion is “dedicated to publishing important classic and contemporary films from around the world in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements.” There is no doubt that pretty much every frame of a Wes Anderson movie fulfils this criteria, and never is that more evident than with GBH. Here is a film that oozes with perfect understanding of form, and wistful experimentation of content. From a commercial perspective, GBH proved to be Anderson’s most prolific. But also from the stance of prestige, GBH is a masterclass of comedy and drama.
So, yes, you may well have already seen this print of the film, but with Criterion this is the home where it rightfully belongs….not to mention the kick ass artwork.
Film Grade: A+
Right, for the special features, then. Imagine for second that the disc were not furnished with making of’s, video essays, animatics and behind-the-scenes specials. The brand new commentary alone would be enough the whet the whistle of any Anderson fan. Not only do you have Wes speaking about his craft in such an engaged and open way, but he is joined by Jeff Goldblum. It truly is as pleasurable as it sounds. So, the fact that the disc then has making of’s, video essays, animatics and behind-the-scenes on top of this, you can see, once again, GBH is home at Criterion.
Special Features Grade: A
The grandest of releases for this hotel.