Film Review – The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

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Title: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Director: Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket)

Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Adrien Brody, F. Murray Abraham, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Bill Murray

Plot: Now-aged lobby boy Zero (Revolori and later Abraham) recounts his time as lobby boy and right-hand man to flamboyant Grand Budapest Hotel manager Gustave H (Fiennes) ,and their wild adventures involving stolen paintings, murder, war and love.

“There are still faint glimmers of civilisation left in this barbaric slaughterhouse once known as humanity”

Review by Eddie on 5/05/2014

Wes Anderson has really become his own unique institution, and by now all lovers of film would have a good idea as to whether they like being a part of that institution or (as was the case with a particular cinema goer in my screening) they want to stay as far away as possible from the obvious works of an artist. I am a very willing participant of Anderson’s unique work and after the let-down that was Moonrise Kingdom it brought a smile to my face to see the gifted director back on the right track with a film that is both gloriously funny and incredibly well made.

The Grand Budapest Hotel does not sit back to take a breath in it’s 100 minute run time, a run time that will include dangerous liaisons, stolen paintings, gun fights, ski chases, love, prison breaks and all manner of things that would be enough to fill in countless films but Anderson is always in complete control of his material and it’s clear that this project meant a lot to the man on a personal level. The film’s charms feel like an extenuation of Anderson the filmmaker and screen writer, and as films such as the aforementioned Moonrise Kingdom and the misfiring Darjeeling Limited attest to, sometimes this can mean a muddled film which Grand Budapest never is. With such a rollicking and imaginative tale, Anderson has also in the forms of Ralph Fiennes and the virtually unknown Tony Revolori found two actors that are perfectly suited to his colourful characters.

While Anderson has always been a fantastic visual director, it’s always been abundantly clear his an actors director in equal measure, with many of his cast members over time giving career best turns in his pieces. Despite initial skepticism, Ralph Fiennes is absolute gold as Gustave H., a true joy of a character that will go down as one of the years best and as an actor Fiennes jumps in with both feet to material that required a side to him we have never seen. Fiennes is the glue that holds the film together, but he is ably supported by all cast members, who seem to be having an absolute blast playing with material that feels so alive. The film is made all the more memorable thanks to it’s wonderful set design, impeccable score and witty script.

No doubt Grand Budapest Hotel will be one of the feel good films of the year, and a very possible suspect at next years Oscars. A truly enjoyable film, that while nothing more than a caper and in no ways emotionally affecting is a blast of fresh air in a film market that fails to dream and imagine the way in which Anderson does.

4 fingers in the door out of 5

37 responses to “Film Review – The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

  1. I’ve been looking forward to this one, I think this is one for Anderson fans to bank their love of him on, I didn’t hate Darjeeling, but it was a little frustrating because you know what he’s capable of

    • That’s it Jase it felt like a real lesser film from him but this one really brings in all his qualities and makes for a very fun ride indeed!

  2. Easily my favorite of the year so far!

    The humanity of the story caught me off-guard, so much so that I cried as the credits rolled. I know a lot of older folks who sobbed as the credits rolled too.

    Apart from being fun throughout, the last five minutes of the film managed to elicit an emotion that I haven;t experienced for a very long time. I found it powerful, especially the very last minute of the movie.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts Tuan, it’s great to hear of people reacting to a movie in such a way.

      I had a real blast with this one and while not being emotionally affected by it loved every minute of my time with the story.

    • Cool man you’ll have to let us know what you think once you catch it. Anderson really does seem to bring out the best in his actors and they must love him also as they always seem to be coming back for more.

  3. Fabulous review! I have been wanting to see this, but was unsure what to expect because of some of his earlier works. I am also a huge fan of artistic movies, so this is right up my alley! Thank you for the lovely review, I hope my impression is just as positive as yours was. 🙂

  4. The film is a nostalgic paean that chronicles the destruction of hotel and the world it represents, a world where style and appearance are all that matters. When Monsieur Gustave views the body of a dear friend and now dead customer Madam D, he says, “you’re looking so well darling. You really are. I don’t know what sort of cream they’ve put on new down at the morgue, but, I want some.” It doesn’t matter if you’re dead, the only thing that matters is how you look.

  5. Good review Eddie. It’s the kind of fun, frothy and exciting movie I expect to see from Anderson, except done on a much-larger scale than ever before.

    • It was very large scale mate, saw today its become his first movie to gross 100 million worldwide so the large scale has obviously paid off for him 🙂

  6. Absolutely beautiful film. Though I agree that the film is very funny, and I absolutely loved the cast, I have to say that I felt like the story fell short just a little. Something about it, which I can’t quite put my finger on it was missing. Though I think that it has a certain amount of re-watch value!

    • Beautiful is a very good way of putting it mate the whole design and construction of it all is really quite a wonder. Looking forward to catching it again down the line.

  7. I actually rather enjoyed both Darjeeling and Moonrise, so this one aughta blow me away from what I’ve heard. Must really make an effort to go see it when it hits our shores.

  8. The film is actually funnier the more you think about it. There are so many little details (like when they replace Boy with Apple with the “worthless” Egon Schiele) that are just flat out hilarious.

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