“The Grand Budapest Hotel” (2014)
Writer/Director Wes Anderson is back with the rollicking film “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) is a concierge extraordinaire, running with aplomb the Grand Budapest Hotel. It’s a fancy hotel that is high up in the mountains of an Eastern European country that caters to a wealthy, high profile clientele who revel in the hotel’s old world charm in 1932.
M. Gustave is very popular with the guests of his hotel, especially older woman whom he showers with attention, going as far as to sleep with them. As M. Gustave says “I go to bed with all my friends.” He rules over the hotel like it is his kingdom and all the employees are his serfs. Every detail from the lint on a lobby boys hat to the menu are under the scrutiny and control of the master concierge.
M. Gustave life changes with two events. First, he hires Zero (Tony Revolori) to be a “Lobby Boy” for the hotel. Zero quickly becomes M. Gustave’s protégé, seemingly always right by the side of the quirky concierge. Secondly, a mainstay hotel quest and lover of M. Gustave, Madame D. (Tilda Swinton), leaves the hotel and soon after turns up dead. Zero and M. Gustave travel to Madame D’s estate and quickly discover that she has bequeathed the concierge a priceless painting called “Boy with Apple.” Madame D’s wealthy family becomes upset over the loss of the painting and plot revenge. Soon after returning to the hotel, Capt. Albert Henckels (Edward Norton) shows up to arrest M. Gustave for the murder of Madame D.. It seems that M. Gustave has been set up by her family in order to recover the painting. Informed that he is being charged with murder, Gustave immediately flees, narrowly escaping, with the help of the trusty Zero, from the clutches of the Captain and his men.
And so, off goes “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” an adventure/murder mystery movie which can only be described as a Wes Anderson film inspired by the Marx Brothers. It’s probably the fastest moving Anderson film he has ever made, with multiple chases involving everything from skis to motorcycles, and a plot that moves with breakneck speed. There are a number of deaths in the film that occur in an almost cartoony way, where I almost expected the coyote and the roadrunner to show up at some point. The dialogue is fast and witty as absurd scene by absurd scene flies by.
It’s a Wes Anderson film and, therefore, there are a number of notable cast members, some that show up for only seconds on the screen, but deliver laughs none the less. Notables include Adrien Brody playing the slighted son, Dmitri, who plots revenge with his family. Willem Dafoe, who plays the menacing Jopling, a man who wears rings on both hands that effectively means he wears brass knuckles. Jeff Goldbulm, a cat loving lawyer who is desperately trying to enforce Madame D.’s last will. And Saoirse Ronan, who plays a pastry maker of impressively baked creations. She becomes Zero’s love interest and eventually, his partner in crime. All make this an impressive cast that look as though they are having the time of their lives making this film.
The core of the film is the relationship between M. Gustave and Zero. Fiennes and Revolori interact with each other that you instantly feel the rapport that their two characters have from almost the start. Fiennes is picture perfect in the role of the stuck up M. Gustave, who though pompous, has a heart of gold. Revolori, as the shy, subservient Zero, does a marvelous job of keeping up with the Fiennes. You instantly like Zero and are willing to root for his character to succeed in his adventures with M. Gustave.
The film is beautifully shot full of vibrant colors that make the Grand Budapest a hotel filled with interesting scenery and costumes. This is a film that will delight with its fast paced delivery and fine performances. After seeing this film you will wish that you too could stay at the Grand Budapest Hotel. My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again
My movie rating system from Best to Worst: 1). I Would Pay to See it Again 2). Full Price 3). Bargain Matinee 4). Cable 5). You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again
The film is playing in Atlanta exclusively at the UA Tara Cinemas 4