Title: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Jude Law, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum, etc.
I figured i’d begin my film review blog with the most recent film I had seen, director Wes Anderson’s latest foray into his idiosyncratic movie universe, The Grand Budapest Hotel. And grand it is.
The story focuses mainly on the escapades on the escapades of an eccentric hotel concierge, M. Gustave (a pitch perfect Fiennes), and, Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy he takes under his wing (newcomer Tony Revolori) in 1930’s Europe. The story is recounted by an elderly Zero (Abraham) to a character known as the author (Law) in the 1960s, giving the story an interesting layered format.
The audience learns very quickly that M. Gustave isn’t simply the owner of The Grand Budapest, but much more; the life of the hotel, the reason many people (namely old ladies with whom he has affairs) visit the place. When one of his senior flings (Tilda Swinton) winds up dead, and she, to the surprise of her family, bequeaths a priceless painting to Gustave. The rest of the film culminates in a delightful adventure, dashing from surrealist comedy, to murder mystery, to heist; always hilarious, and slightly melancholy. From sudden spouts of comic violence, to tidbits of colorful animation, a stop-motion chase scene, and hilarious, bizarre (and superbly acted) characters all around, the film is an absolute blast to watch. All 100 minutes of it.
Wes Anderson is at his peak here, in what easily could be his best film. Anderson’s trademark style that he has seemed to be honing since Fantastic Mr. Fox has never been more finely tuned. It could be too early to make predictions for the next oscar season, but this very well could be the one to bag Anderson a “best original screenplay” or “best picture” win if at the very least a nomination. For now, The Grand Budapest Hotel is, quite clearly, the best film of 2014 so far, thanks to its charm, heart, and wonderful cast and crew. It’s exciting to think of what Anderson will come up with next.