As whimsical and distinct as Wes Anderson’s films, the partner soundtracks hit with the same kind of joyful, exhilarating wonder. And The Grand Budapest Hotel’s original score by Alexandre Desplat is something entirely indescribable.
This soundtrack isn’t just unique, but it’s sensational in tone and instrumental use. Comprised of 32 songs that span an hour, it’s a soundtrack that feels especially appropriate to have in the background while beginning autumn baking (or any activity, really). Plus, the same can be said for Fantastic Mr. Fox too. Starting with “The Alpine Sudetenwaltz,” the soundtrack kicks off with intensely transportive melodies. While some original scores keep us right where we are even as we absorb the magic, others take us to new places—and that’s the case here.
While it’s evident that Russian folk sounds inspire the soundtrack, Desplat does something riveting that’s present in all his albums, like the 2019 adaptation of Little Women. There’s a childlike wonder to each of Desplat’s albums that contribute to enhancing scenes in ways that make them utterly memorable. If like me, you’ve watched The Grand Budapest Hotel too many times, then you could picture every scene clear as day while listening to the soundtrack.
With a brilliant mixture of fun and steadily slow, the soundtrack is one of Desplat’s most outstanding pieces to date and a Wes Anderson original score that won’t be forgotten anytime soon, if ever. As a firm believer that this is still Anderson’s best work, it’s only fitting that the soundtrack is just as illumined and immersive.
There are stories in the melodies that we could excavate for hours. Still, more than the stories, it’s the kind of original score that can be blasted both loudly and faintly in the background, which alone is a fascinating delight.
Listen to The Grand Budapest Hotel original score below and let us know which tracks are your favorite.
Gissane (pronounced Geese-enny) or, as people often call her, "Goose," is a Christ fan above all and a romance enthusiast who's taken her Master's degree in English and love for essays into writing lengthy analyses about pop culture.
She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Marvelous Geeks Media and the co-host of Lady Geeks' Society Podcast. She drinks too much coffee, wants to live in a forest, and cries a lot because of her favorite characters. She's a member of The Cherry Picks and can also be found writing features for Looper.