The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Director: Wes Anderson
Writers: Stefan Zweig, Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson
Synopsis: The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, some sexual content and violence
10 / 10
- Ralph Fiennes is excellent in this movie, as he really shows off his versatility as an actor in this comedic performance.
- Every actor plays their part rather well
- The story is very original, and unique.
- The authenticity and art direction for this film is simply amazing
- The comedic jokes are funny.
- Film moves at a good pace.
- Great script chalked full of surprises
- The only problem with this movie is that it requires you to have a required taste for Wes Anderson's unique style of filmmaking. Therefore, if you're not into artsy dramatic style comedies like these, then you probably won't enjoy this feature.
Arguably one of Wes Anderson's best films of all time
Throughout my years of reviewing movies on hubpages, I never came across any filmmaker that has the same unique style that Wes Anderson brings to the table. Like Tim Burton in a sense, Wes Anderson has a very unique quirky style to all his films that you're either going to love or hate it. There is no inbetween when it comes to Wes Anderson. Not that I'm comparing the two men, as they both obviously have their own unique styles. However, there's no disputing that when you watch a Tim Burton movie, then you know it's a Tim Burton film. The same can be said of Wes Anderson's work as well. Sadly, I doubt mainstream audiences will ever warm up to Anderson's particular style of filmmaking.
However, if you're a huge fan of his previous work like "Rushmore", "Moonrise Kingdom", "The Fantastic Mr. Fox", "The Royal Tenenbaums" and etc, then you'll definitely love this film. It's filled with his normal style of quirky humor, and satirical dramatic flair that's always a treat to watch. Albeit, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" does seem violent for a Wes Anderson film, but it's arguably one of his best works yet.
But if you've never liked any of his movies before, then chances are nothing about this review is going to change your mind about him. In fact, if you're not a fan of Wes Anderson's work, then I'd probably avoid this one like the plaque. Like Woody Allen and Tim Burton, Wes' style of filmmaking requires the viewer to have sort a required taste for his work; meaning it's not for everyone.
The story is said to be inspired by the works of Stefan Zweig, as it starts off with an elderly writer telling us the story about his stay at the Grand Budapest hotel; via flashback. He meets an estranged elderly man, who turns out to be the owner of the Grand Budapest Hotel. The elderly man stays up in the servant's quarters all the time, during his stay there. Intrigued by this man, the writer takes it upon himself to learn a bit about his past. It's from there, the owner decides to tell the writer everything about how he became owner of the Grand Budapest Hotel, as it's told via flashback. Wow, a flashback within another flashback? Leave it to the mind of Wes Anderson, to think up something quirky and unique like that.
As we go further back in time, we're introduced to a middle eastern young man named Zero (Tony Revolori) that gets a job at the hotel, as a lobby boy. Upon his first day working, he meets an eccentric concierge, by the name of M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes), that manages the Budapest Hotel. His methods might seem unorthodox and a bit strange, but he seems to have garnered quite a reputation as the hotel's concierge.
At the time, the Grand Budapest seemed like a popular five star hotel, and Gustave had quite a reputation as a playboy to boot. Flirting with many of the female guests, and sometimes even sleeping some of them; particularly the elderly ones. I'm talking senior citizen level ages here folks. To quote Professor Hubert Famsworth, from "Futurama", "Some can say I'm robbing the cradle, but I say she's robbing the grave!" Well, I guess you can say that he's infamous for robbing the grave, when it comes to picking up women. Hey, I'm not going to judge.
To make a long story short, one of the female guests that had an affair with Gustave dies fairly recently. This distresses Gustave dearly, as he attends her funeral along with Zero, who becomes his most trusted companion over time. But due to a series of elaborate events, Gustave is framed for her murder, as he's forced to flee the country.
Not only is Zero and Gustave on the run from the law, but it seems like a few other shady characters might want to kill them; particularly those that might have a lot to gain from his lover's death. In typical Wes Anderson fashion, we're given a story chalked full of surprises, and shocking turns. Just when you think you know where the story is going, it turns around to give you something you don't see coming.
Yet with the way the story is written, the twists it gives you still feels very natural to where it never feels out of place. Like most of his films, the script is magnificent, and the characters are portrayed rather well. The atmosphere and authenticity of the sets are great, and you have to applaud Wes Anderson's style of humor; as it manages to take such grim concepts like death, murder, and thievery, and then turn it into something whimsical and comedic. Heck, even the art direction for this film is amazing, as I wouldn't be surprised if it gets some recognition at next year's Oscars.
Ralph Fiennes is humorous, as he shows off his versatility in this performance. In fact, you never would've guessed that the same manipulative bad a**, from the "Harry Potter" franchise, could be so pompous and charming in a comedic role. Willem Defoe does an excellent job playing the menacing quite tough guy hitman, and Edward Norton relishes in his performance as the no nonsense cop trying to capture Gustave. In fact, I would have to say every actor in this film plays their part rather well.
Like I said before, Wes Anderson's style of filmmaking needs the viewers to have a required taste to enjoy his work; hence if you haven't been impressed with his previous films before, then chances are this one isn't going to sway you. However, if you're yearning for something that's artsy, bold, original, funny and delightfully entertaining, then "The Grand Budapest Hotel" is definitely a great treat to watch.
© 2014 Steven Escareno
More by this Author
After losing his wife, a patriarch has only one wish for the holiday season, and that's for his family to get along. Unfortunately, some things are easier said than done.
After getting into a near fatal car crash, Vinny Pazienza starts on his quest to make a historic comeback into the ring unlike any that has been seen before.
- 0Critic's Corner: My current thoughts on arguably the world's most controversial adult film star, Mia Khalifa
In this month's topic, we will be discussing arguably the world's most controversial adult film star, Mia Khalifa.