I wanted a special movie to take my wife to on our anniversary and Wes Anderson’s latest did not disappoint.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) – Rated R
“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.”
I would like to just put “Go see this. Now.” as the entire review. Fresh off his Oscar-nominated Moonrise Kingdom, writer/director/producer Wes Anderson has knocked it out of the park again.
One Line Review: Go see this. Now. Best film of the year thus far. Perhaps in toto. Oops that’s a lot of lines but you get the picture.
Wes Anderson the director, and his favorite cinematographer, Robert D. Yeoman, have a fantastic eye for detail. This movie could be used to teach a master class on shot composition. Every frame is either jam-packed with detail or a masterwork in simplicity. I worry I may have missed some dialogue staring at the screen.
Wes Anderson the writer, together with co-writer Hugo Guinness, have composed a love letter to the golden age of fancy hotels and Hollywood. Profanity is used sparingly and, because of that, to good effect, earning the ‘R’ rating. Non-profanity language is elegant and refined, including such bygone terms as funicular.
The plot should not work at all as it is a flashback within a flashback and, at times, within another flashback. The visual style changes with each iteration as does the main character. The tone, which works surprisingly well, is part-farce, part-slapstick, with a dash of darkness as a fictionalized version of World War II hangs over the events
Ralph Fiennes gives a fantastic lead performance, far removed from his more recent villainous and/or dour turns. He is not called on to carry the movie but he obviously could. Previous Anderson alums populate the film to varying degrees. Look for Adrien Brody, Willem DaFoe, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, and Bill Murray (himself a 7 time Anderson alum) to add quirk and verve to their parts. In addition, there is an almost unrecognizable Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, F. Murray Abraham, and Jude Law in various parts. Were it not for Fiennes’ incredible performance, the movie would have been stolen by the two young actors, Saoirse Ronan as Agatha and Tony Revolori as Zero.
Seriously I cannot recommend this film enough. Anyone with a love of cinema should see it.