“in my humble opinion, The Grand Budapest Hotel is the quirky filmmaker’s finest achievement to date.”
The Grand Budapest Hotel Review
By Ryan Casey
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Certificate : 15
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, F. Marray Abraham, Tony Revolori, Adrian Brody
Director(s): Wes Anderson
Screenwriter(s): Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness
Running Time: 100 minutes
Wes Anderson recently stated, in short he “Never sets out to make a Wes Anderson movie”, at face value his latest offering, The Grand Budapest Hotel didn’t seem likely to stray in terms of style and execution, feeling very much like a “Wes Anderson Movie”… Did this bother me? Not even for a second. In fact, it turns out that, in my humble opinion, The Grand Budapest Hotel is the quirky filmmaker’s finest achievement to date.
The Grand Budapest Hotel centres on the antics of the eccentric concierge of “The Grand Budapest” Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes) and the unlikely bond he makes with his refugee lobby boy Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori). When one of Gustave’s many elderly female acquaintances (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) passes away, she bequeaths to him a priceless Renaissance painting. Thus beginning an underplayed adrenaline fuelled tale of theft, incarceration, history, love and friendship, all set against a continent on the brink of War.
Not often do I sit through an entire movie with a cheesy shit-eating grin firmly planted on my face, The Grand Budapest Hotel is an example of one such rare occurrence. The film is a treat for first minute to last.
As with any Wes Anderson film, extravagant yet understated set and costume design takes centre stage, each shot is meticulously organised, with vibrant colour schemes combined with an overriding theme of symmetry, that gives The Grand Budapest Hotel the feeling of being a sort of art deco picture reel, the films presentation in 4:3 anamorphic also lends itself to this illusion. The effect this creates is truly beautiful and mesmerising, a true work of art.
Although the films presentation is stunning, that is the not the most impressive aspect of the production, that prestigious award has to go to Ralph Fiennes, the humour and emotion that he puts into his performance is truly spellbinding and to my mind creates one of the most memorable characters in recent cinema history. Fiennes’ has previously showcased his comedic potential in the likes of In Bruges but for me this is on another level, his timing and delivery alone actually make The Grand Budapest Hotel the most genuinely amusing films I’ve seen in a while.
Fiennes is without doubt the star of the show; however the rest of the cast (that being rather extensive) deserves a whole lot of credit, yes Anderson brings in his usual assortment of A-List talent, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Adrian Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum and Harvey Keitel to name but a few… however, regardless of the prominence of each’s role to the story the wide range of excellently crafted characters never feels over-stated and are totally essential and plausible to the story as a whole.
The unknown element comes in the shape of Tony Revolori who makes his big screen debut as the young lobby boy Zero, he has an immediate presence and poise, and builds a great on screen rapport with Ralph Fiennes that feels totally natural, definitely one to watch in the coming years.
If there had to be one minor criticism of The Grand Budapest Hotel (and this is a stretch) is that maybe the films conclusion in a slightly rapid, with proceedings rapping up with a rather abrupt summary that maybe could have done with being extended… Although I might just be saying that because I didn’t want the damn thing to finish!
The Grand Budapest Hotel is a joy, I would recommend it to any cinema lover. The films characters, design and story is a fast, quick witted, emotionally charged delight!