The Grand Budapest Hotel – Film Review
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Saoirse Ronan, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Jude Law, Adrien Brody, Jeff Goldblum
Director: Wes Anderson
Synopsis: An elderly gentlemen tells the story to a young writer of how he came to be the owner of the titular hotel
Review: Throughout life, you will probably compare many things and see how much two different things may be alike in a number of ways. This is certainly applicable when it comes to the world of film. Many people compare this film to that film through various criteria, and while some films do share similarities, when it comes to the filmography of one Wes Anderson, it is almost clutching at straws to compare his works to any other film that graces our screens every year, because there really isn’t anything quite like them, and with his latest picture, that trend continues in glorious fashion.
Set in the fictional land of the Republic of Zubrowka in between the First and Second World Wars, it brings us the tale of the titular hotel, and how it fell into the hands of one elderly gentleman (F. Murray Abraham). We then travel to the past to see a younger version of said gentleman, back when he was a lobby boy (Tony Revelori) along side the hotel’s main concierge Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes) and the tale of their friendship. His affection for elderly resident Madame D turns sour due to her possession of an invaluable painting which is left to him in her will. Triggering a wild goose chase between her rather peeved family and our lead actors, through museums and ski slopes. With the influx of superhero movies and reboots of popular franchises that were littered throughout 2014, it is refreshing to see that extremely original films like this are still being made, and that they can be uproariously entertaining and just as exciting just like a big budget blockbuster adventure. The sets are full of colour and character, with the costumes also of excellent quality, and it is no surprise that the film bagged Oscars for both Costume and Production design
With a rather large cast in this film, it would seem difficult to stand out, Ralph Fiennes certainly does giving a truly exceptional performance as Gustave H. Prone to outbursts of rather posh sounding expletives aimed at policeman and anyone who dares to be rude to his lobby boy companion, his performance is an undeniable highlight of this picture and was arguably unlucky to miss out on a Best Actor nomination. It is always rather satisfying to hear someone swear in such an elegant manner and through his upper class accent and elegance, he provided some of the most entertaining dialogue of 2014. Newcomer Tony Revelori bursts onto the scene in a terrific debut performance as the lobby boy Zero. The chemistry between the two provides some compelling and extremely entertaining viewing as they go on their adventures of trying to ensure the valuable painting does not fall into the wrong hands. Willem Dafoe is no stranger to the role of a villain, but here he’s not so much Green Goblin, instead channeling a Bond like sort of villain, and here he is again in spectacular form.
Through all the quirkiness and comedy, the film does have some thoughtful and touching moments. The mixture of comedy and touching moments can be a very fine line to walk on, but like a true pro, through Anderson’s masterful direction, the combination of comedy and sadness hits all the right notes, along with the Oscar winning score by Alexandre Desplat. The Grand Budapest Hotel delivers the best service possible, so much so that you will find yourself wanting to book another stay many more times.