Wes Anderson’s magnum opus The Grand Budapest Hotel took home the honor for Best Original Screenplay at this weekend’s Writers Guild Association awards against a strong field of fellow Oscar contenders, including Boyhood, Foxcatcher, Nightcrawler, and Whiplash, reports Josh Rottenberg of the Los Angeles Times. Fellow Academy Award nominees Birdman, The Theory of Everything, and Selma were deemed ineligible for nomination for non-adherence to the Guild’s Basic Agreement.
The Writers Guild Awards mark the last major awards show leading into the Academy Awards and many look to WGA winners as possible Oscar winners. The Grand Budapest Hotel is nominated for a staggering nine Oscar categories, including the top honor, Best Picture, in which it is a heavy favorite alongside Birdman.
Anderson’s acceptance accepted the award in his typically sardonic manner.
“I’m very pleased to be here on this soil of Century City, which formerly, as you know, was the back lot of one of the great cinema studios and now is home to this wonderful Hyatt and a large community of entertainment attorneys.”
Anderson wrote the screenplay for The Grand Budapest Hotel and shares story credit with co-writer Hugo Guinness and was inspired by the writings of Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig. The film recounts the harrowing adventure of Gustave H, the legendary and renown concierge of the namesake iconic hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy, who begins as protege and ends up as trusted confidant to Gustave and aids him in the theft of a priceless artifact that belonged to a beloved “friend.” This ultimately brings danger and folly set against a colorful backdrop of an evolving Europe and deadpan humor.
Anderson’s signature visual mastery is brought to vivid display in Grand Budapest, which is why among the film’s accolades and acknowledgements are Academy Award nominations for costuming and production design, largely due to the talents of hair and makeup designer Frances Hannon. She told NPR about the exhaustive research and painstaking detail she employed in assuring unique and elaborate beard and mustache styles for the male characters in Grand Budapest.
“I covered the spectrum completely, so that with all the mustaches, not only would I find something that suited that actor’s face, but I could give something different to everybody.”
While Hannon admits that most of the facial styles were stick on affectations, comic legend Bill Murray, with whom Hannon has worked consistently over the last two decades and who makes a delightful cameo in the film, made the commitment to grow his own facial coif.
“I have to tell you that was real. Bill grew a full beard and mustache. He turned up the hairiest I’d ever seen him.”
Hannon and Julie Dartnell have already nabbed Best Period and/or Character Hair Styling and Best Period and/or Character Makeup awards from the Make-up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards, with Hannon expected to earn the Oscar nod as well, according to Ariana Bacle of Entertainment Weekly.