The Alamo and the Grand Budapest
Used to love me some Alamo Drafthouse. Not that it’s not good anymore, but when the Grand Budapest Hotel first came out in theaters, at least locally, it wasn’t at an Alamo Drafthouse.
That’s just wrong, in my mind. It’s a movie that’s perfect for the usually eclectic and slightly random “Austin-flavored” Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Could be me, but the Alamo, still the very best place to see a movie, ever, is starting to smell slightly “corporate.” The pre-screening material is still good, if not as quite edgy. The food, still good. The staff, still tattooed and dreadlocked. The ambiance, nice as ever, although, I do, on some occasions, still long for the sofa in the back of the old 4th Street theater, upstairs from a bar with shifting names, last time I was there, it was something Latin-sounding.
No, that’s gone, and this is now a chain-store operation. I suppose, part of the problem.
However, Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel was like a sinewy, dewey-eyed maiden, with multiple layers of material to remove, dissect, and otherwise look at, and perhaps that first layer wasn’t everything. It’s a casual romp in a grand style through a mythic world that looks a lot like the “goode, olde tymes,” and maybe that’s all it is. Death, dismemberment, disfigurement, capers, prison, and most of all? Manners. Comedy of manners. Had to write this far to realize where I was going. A slight comedy of manners.
As such, fun stuff. I’m guessing, it’s in “limited release” because it is a bit odd. I liked it. Enjoyed it immensely.