After a stay at ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, you will check out feeling kooky, artsy and much lighter than you did when you began your stay. This fantastic film by visionary director Wes Anderson, feels fresh and new in an industry full of sequels and recycled material. It is invigorating to watch a movie and be reminded why you fell in love with the art form in the first place. ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is a comedic and artistic masterpiece that has immediately become one of my favorite films of all time.
This film takes place primarily in the prestigious Grand Budapest Hotel which is in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka. The hotel is run by world renowned concierge Monsieur Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes) who is a classy man that enjoys seducing rich old women. Madame Céline Villeneuve “Madame D” Desgoffe und Taxis (Tilda Swinton), one of these rich old women, falls in love with him and he falls sort of in love with her.
Monsieur Gustave H. leaves the Grand Budapest Hotel and is accompanied by his lobby boy Zero (Tony Revolori) to Madame D’s estate after she mysteriously dies just days after she pleads with him to come away with here. After paying his respects, he joins a very anxious crowd to see her will read. During the reading by the estate’s lawyer, Deputy Kovacs (Jeff Goldblum), it is revealed that Madame D has left Monsieur Gustave a priceless painting called Boy With Apple; all to the protest of her daughters and son Dmitri Desgoffe und Taxis (Adrien Brody). Monsieur Gustave and Zero steal the painting whilst no one is looking and lock it away in a safe at the prestigious hotel.
Later, Inspector Henckels (Edward Norton) and other authorities come to the hotel to arrest Gustave for the murder of Madame D. He is hauled off to jail but soon crafts a plan with the help of Zero, fellow inmates, and an apprentice at the famed Mendls Bakery, Agatha (Saoirse Ronan), to break out. Monseiur Gustave and Zero are then pursued by the Taxis family’s henchman J.G. Jopling (Willem Defoe) to stop them from returning to the Grand Budapest Hotel and clearing his name. On their way to the hotel, Gustave reveals a secret order of concierges to Zero and finds out about a second will left by Madame D in the event that she is murdered. In the end, Gustave gets the painting and becomes a very rich man with Zero taking his place as the concierge of the hotel.
You know those films that you can watch without any knowledge of who made them and you can still tell who directed them? Well this movie has all the trademarks of a Wes Anderson film. Everything from the style, the theatrics, and dialogue just ooze his unique way of filmmaking. His films are like nothing I have every seen and the only person I can think of who is even remotely similar is Quentin Tarantino. When watching his films, you almost feel like you are watching a play because of its very theateresque dialogue and flow.
Not only was the film directed by Anderson, he also wrote it. This film really shows that he a gift for writing complex stories and amazing dialogue. The film is a story within a story, within a story, within a story. It starts out with a woman reading a memoir in a graveyard by an unknown author. Then the scene changes to the actual author (Tom Wilkinson) telling the story of how he was told the story. The scene changes once again to the author (Jude Law) in the Grand Budapest Hotel 20 years earlier when he met Zero (F. Murray Abraham) who is now the owner and extremely wealthy due to Gustave leaving him his wealth. Then over dinner, Zero recounts his story of Gustave and their adventure. So many things happen so quickly but this is to be expected form a Wes Anderson film.
One of the things that I really loved about this movie is the dialogue. I could listen to just the sound of the actors talking and still be thoroughly entertained! I loved how at one moment Gustave and Madame D can be talking about him going away with her forever and then the whole conversation switches to her nail polish causing him physical pain. There are a ton of moments like this in the movie and they are all hysterical. Throughout the movie, Gustave recites a lot of poetry that reflects the situation he is in. Even the normal dialogue sounds like poetry and it is very beautiful even when its crude.
Also Ralph Fiennes did a spectacular job in this role. I have seen so many of his movies and this is by far his best performance that I have seen. He just adds so much soul and energy to the role, making it 110 percent his own.
If the directing and acting isn’t good enough for you, the score for this film just elevates it to a whole other level. It is very Eastern European but with a kooky twist. The music is so complementary to Wes Anderson’s style and the actors performances. Alexandre Desplat is one of my favorite composers so I’m not in the least surprised that he delivered this fantastic score.
‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is going to be a huge hit during the upcoming award season. It has already been nominated for 11 Critics’ Choice Awards, four Golden Globes, a Grammy and a SAG. It has a fantastic chance of being nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars and I think it deserves to win them all. This film was just astounding and I recommend that everyone watch it!
Film Mention gives ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ 5 out of 5 film reels.
‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ was released on March 7, 2014 and stars Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Willem Defoe, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Lea Seydoux, and Saoirse Ronan. The film was directed by Wes Anderson.