Director Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox) and his immense (-ly talented) cast bring the viewer on a wild, quirky and colourful ride in his latest film. While this most certainly is not a Hollywood film in that it is firmly and unapologetically left of centre, it is in every sense of the word and entertaining ride.
After watching it you’ll agree that it is fully deserving of its nine Oscar nominations. Wes Anderson has never been a tent pole or mindless action film type of director. He has an incredible eye and knack for telling stories involving oddball characters that will leave a mark on you.
This story centers around The Grand Budaspest Hotel, a formerly haute class establishment that has now fallen on hard times and in a state of disrepair. The few guests that do stay there are usually people who enjoy solitude. One such guest is a young writer (Jude Law – Closer, The Holiday), who asks the desk clerk M. Jean (Jason Schwartzman – Saving Mr. Banks, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) who the mysterious man is sitting in the lobby. Turns out he is the owner of the hotel, Mr. Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham – Amadeus, Scarface).
Over dinner the next evening Mr. Moustafa tells the young writer the story of The Grand Budapest Hotel. Its story revolves around the legendary concierge, Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes – Schindler’s List, Skyfall). While in the process of training the hotel’s new lobby boy, Zero (Tony Revolori – The Perfect Game), one of his many older, rich, female lovers dies. Gustave H. and Zero take the train to pay their respects to Madame D’s (Tilda Swinton – Adaptation, Snowpiercer) family.
They get there and are directed by Serge X. (Mathieu Almaric – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Quantum of Solace) into the room where Deputy Kovacs (Jeff Goldblum – Jurassic Park, Independence Day) is reading her will. When, due to an amendment to the original will, Gustave H. is left the priceless painting, The Boy and an Apple, Madame D’s son, Dmitri (Adrien Brody – The Pianist, Midnight in Paris) blows a gasket. What happens next can only be described as wonderful chaos.
Incredibly you find out through this film that the usually very serious Ralph Fiennes has a very good sense of comedic timing. He is more than up to saying the most ridiculous things and making them seem almost, but not quite plausible.
Describing the plot of this film is rather pointless and doesn’t do it justice. It is rather detailed and vast, to say the least. What is great about the film in this case is about the Anderson’s quirky style, storybook sets, explosion of colour, and the cast who seem up for anything thrown at them. Wes Anderson has a style and you either like it or you don’t. He skews reality and really does not even pretend to make films for the masses. A man whose head seems filled with originality and ideas. A breath of fresh air compared to usual rehash coming from Hollywood. Anderson loves wit, zaniness, farce, irony, and sight gags. Here you have 100 minutes of those very watchable things.
-Bill Murray Tours the Town
-Promotional Featurettes – The Making of The Grand Budapest Hotel, Cast, Wes Anderson