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