21 Apr 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Director: Wes Anderson
Writers: Wes Anderson. Based on the works of Stefan Zweig

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe and many many more. 

Wes Anderson is a highly talented man who makes wonderfully quirky films. They are not for everyone however, and while he has his devoted fans there are many who find his work quirky to the point of pretentiousness.

Anderson's latest story takes us to 1930's Europe, between the wars, and to the country of Zubrowka.  In the mountains of  Zubowka lies the the fabulous Grand Budapest hotel, a luxurious hideaway for the elite of Europe. The Hotel is run by the enigmatic M. Gustave. The story is told by Zero, M. Gustave's Lobby Boy, protege and friend. After M. Gustave is accused of murdering one of the regular guests of the hotel and a very "close" friend, an adventure full of daring escapes, murder, romance, villains, skiing and pastries begins.

Ensue Hyjinx!

Anderson manages to attract his regular favourite ensemble of stars and many more. Certainly more than I care to mention here. But Ralph Fienne's performance as the elegant and efficient M. Gustave is maybe not his greatest, but certainly his most enjoyable. Fienne's comic timing with co-star Tony Revolori is perfect. They have a relationship which is naturally affectionate, but also strictly master and apprentice.

The adventures of M. Gustave and his lobby boy hark back to a civilized age. But a civilization which is declining due to the brutal face of war. That makes it sound a lot darker than this movie is.

The Grand Budapest Hotel  reminded me strongly of 1930's cinema. Anderson is a talented auteur director who manages to capture the feel of a certain period in time. Not the real time mind, but the world as a nostalgic Hollywood saw it.  Moonrise Kingdom  had a wonderful sixties feel to it, and Anderson has captured the sumptuous romance of 30's film here.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a magical farce typical of Wes Anderson's sense of humour. Ludicrous, sweet and surprising all at once.  It is a great holiday movie, and if you are a fan then you will love it.

8 mad Monkeys.

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