The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) Poster


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Unlike most films, every time a newspaper article appears it has a detailed and complete depiction of the events in the headline.
Tilda Swinton spent hours in the makeup chair to play 84-year-old dowager Madame D. "We're not usually working with a vast, Bruckheimer-type budget on my films, so often we're trying a work-around," said Wes Anderson. "But for the old-age makeup I just said, 'Let's get the most expensive people we can.'"
In an interview, Saoirse Ronan admitted that making the hotel's signature confection, the Courtisane au Chocolat, wasn't easy. "Forget the action scenes in Hanna (2011)," she said, "these little pastries were the hardest thing I've had to do in a movie."
The name of the fictional Republic of Zubrowka comes from the Polish vodka Zubrówka. It's the brand of rye vodka, seasoned with bison grass and renowned in Europe.
According to Variety, Fox Searchlight sent its specification for the film's "proper projection" to theaters before its release. Although Wes Anderson's crime caper was shot in three different aspect ratios (1.37, 1.85 and 2.35:1) to inform viewers where they are in the time line, which alternates between 1985, 1968 and the 1930s, instructions state in large, bold red font that the film is meant to be projected in 1.85:1 aspect ratio (the standard). Aside from the projector setting, the directions include information on framing the picture, image brightness, audio configuration and fader setting.
In an interview with NPR, Wes Anderson said about finding filming locations, "We found this department store in this town called Görlitz, which is in Saxony. Half of Görlitz is in Germany, the other half is in Poland. It's on the border. And it's about 20 minutes from Czech Republic. So, in a way, it's really right where our story would be, if there was such a place as the one in our story. And this department store that we found, we made into our hotel, the big entrance hall of our hotel, and then we found everything else for the movie within a certain kind of radius of that department store."
According to Wes Anderson, the whole cast stayed in the same hotel [Hotel Börse in Görlitz] during the film's principal photography. He insisted on all make-up and costume happen in the hotel lobby of to give the process more urgency and speed up filming. The owner of the same hotel appears in the film as an extra working on the front desk of the Grand Budapest, and after filming finished for the day the crew would often return to find him at the front desk of their own hotel.
Johnny Depp was Wes Anderson's initial choice for the role of M. Gustave.
Wes Anderson's seventh collaboration with Bill Murray.
The cast includes four Oscar winners: Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Fisher Stevens and F. Murray Abraham and eleven actors that were nominated for an Oscar (not necessarily in the acting category): Bill Murray, Jude Law, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, Owen Wilson, Harvey Keitel, Bob Balaban, Tom Wilkinson, Willem Dafoe, Saoirse Ronan and Ralph Fiennes.
Bill Murray's character's name can be read in Hungarian as "Mi van?" which means: "What's going on?".
Jeff Goldblum plays Vilmos Kovacs, a tribute to cinematographers László Kovács and Vilmos Zsigmond.
The appearance and style of F. Murray Abraham's Mr. Moustafa is based on the prolific American writer and professor Harold Jaffe. Wes Anderson is an admirer of his work.
As of January 2015, this is the highest-grossing film of Wes Anderson's film-making career, grossing $175 million worldwide. It was also the highest-grossing independent film of 2014 and the highest-grossing limited-release film of 2014. In its first week it grossed over $811,000 in just 4 theatrical screenings, averaging $202,000 per screen.
Angela Lansbury was originally cast as Madame D. She had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with the stage production of Driving Miss Daisy.
The birthmark in the character Agatha's cheek is in the shape of Mexico.
In an interview with Stefan Zweig's biographer, Wes Anderson singles out two of Zweig's books; " 'Beware of Pity' and 'The Post Office Girl' from which The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) has elements that were sort of stolen ...". He also states "Two characters in our story are vaguely meant to represent Zweig himself - our 'Author' character, played by 'Tom Wilkinson', and the theoretically fictionalised version of himself, played by Jude Law. But, in fact, M. Gustave, the main character who is played by Ralph Fiennes, is modelled significantly on Zweig as well."
The fictional painter Johannes van Hoytl the Younger (1613-1669) is based on a combination of Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) and Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553).
The traditional "Fox Fanfare" is not heard in the film's opening titles.
The Art Museum that Kovacs hides in is in fact the Zwinger Palace in Dresden, Germany. The palace functions now as an art museum.
Wes Anderson's first film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture or Best Director, despite his esteemed reputation as a filmmaker for nearly twenty years.
Zubrowka is a famous Polish rye vodka, renowned in central Europe.
When Jopling is examining Agatha's picture on his deck, the insignia of the Zig-Zig division next to the photo is of similar design of the one belonging to the Nazi SS.
Gustave's prisoners number is 112, the emergency response number most of Europe.
The tattoo M.A.V. on Harvey Keitel's character's left upper arm is similar to the abbreviation of the Magyar Államvasutak (Hungarian State Railways) - MÁV in Hungarian.
Ludwig's (Harvey Keitel's prisoner character) tattoos are a direct copy of the character of Pere Jules in the 1934 film, L'Atalante. The MAV tattooed on his left arm is the abbreviation of French saying 'morts aux vaches' which translates roughly to 'death to the pigs/police'
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Jean Dujardin and Vincent Cassel were considered for the part of Serge X.
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After Johnny Depp turned down the part of M. Gustave, Robert Downey Jr., Sean Penn, Bruce Willis and Ben Stiller were considered for the part.
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Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton and Harvey Keitel have all appeared together in the prequel to Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon.
In addition to this film, Edward Norton starred in Birdman. Both films led the 2015 Oscar nominations with nine each.
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The erotic painting that replaces "Boy with Apple" for a while (and which the Desgoffe and Taxis sisters mistakenly believe is "Boy with Apple") is in the style of the early-twentieth-century Austrian painter Egon Schiele. However, it is not an actual Schiele painting; Wes Anderson actually commissioned the painting from Boston-based painter and illustrator Rich Pellegrino. Pellegrino first came to Anderson's attention because Pellegrino is a regular contributor to "Bad Dads," an annual exhibit in San Francisco of artwork inspired by the movies of Wes Anderson. The official title of Pellegrono's Schiele-like painting that appears in this film is "Two Lesbians Masturbating."
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JG Jopling has a concealed Browning Model 1910 pistol strapped to his jacket, and a Colt M1911 pistol laying on his desk, but never uses either in the movie.
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Jeff Goldblum plays Deputy Kovacs. Goldblum played comedian Ernie Kovacs in Ernie Kovacs: Between the Laughter (1984).
The film has 3 actors that have appeared in James Bond films. Ralph Fiennes (Skyfall), Mathieu Amalric (Quantum of Solace) and Léa Seydoux (Spectre).
French visa # 138970.


Jean Dujardin:  a German gunman in the hotel shootout scene.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

M. Gustave and Zero replace the painting 'Boy with Apple' with a painting in the style of Austrian painter Egon Schiele (1890-1918).
In the wedding scene, the snowy rock formation in the background is the Saxon Switzerland (Sächsische Schweiz) in the region of Saxony, Germany.
At the end of the movie when Mr. Moustafa (Murray Abraham) and the Young Writer (Jude Law) are done talking, they walk to the front desk to get their keys. At this moment you can see the painting 'The Boy With Apple' hanging between all the keys. This means lobby boy never sold it.
When Jopling (Willem Dafoe) cuts off four fingers from Kovacs' hand, it calls to mind the scene in "The English Patient" where Willem Dafoe's character has his thumbs cut off.

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