‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ Review: Nobody Move, Everyone is Under Arrest!

Posted in The Screening Room by - January 24, 2015

Before we explore any part of this film, it needs to be known that I’m a HUGE Wes Anderson fan boy. I’ve seen almost all of his work (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, and Moonrise Kingdom are the only films I’m missing) of his work and I love it. Now that that is out of the way, let’s jump in.

The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the adventures of Monsieur Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of the priceless Renaissance painting, “Boy Without Apple”, and the battle for an enormous family fortune.

This film solidifies Anderson’s style and brand of film making, both as writer and director. His usage of dialogue, situational awareness, and brilliant use of color help create a film that provides an aura of surrealism and realism that makes the audience question what they are witnessing. It also solidifies Anderson’s narrative ability; his talent for story telling and communicating complex ideas in such a surreal fashion is incredible. The Grand Budapest Hotel is an incredible feat of story telling that explores exactly what family truly is.

The highlights of this film are the performances by Ralph Fiennes, Adrian Brody, and Willem Defoe. Ralph Fiennes plays the eccentric Gusatve H, the suave and seemingly all powerful concierge of the Grand Budapest Hotel. His aura and overall allure draws the wealthy (and elderly) women of Europe to his hotel where he provides them with all the TLC they seem to need. 

Adrian Brody plays Dmitri, the dark, foreboding and narcissistic heir to a family fortune that includes the priceless painting, “Boy Without Apple”.  Dmitri uses his power to weasel his way into the ranks of an SS style military organization and attempts to hunt down Gustave H and “Boy Without Apple”, after framing Gustave for his mother’s murder. All in all, his performance is the second best in the film which is a pretty damn fine statement for him considering the fact that Fiennes should’ve been nominated for an Oscar.

My guilty pleasure performance is Willem Dafoe’s. He plays the quiet henchmen to Dominc. He has very few lines, but his actions and facial expressions make up for a lack of dialogue. It just goes to show the amount of talent that Dafoe has. 

It’s definitely not hard to see why Grand Budapest is tied with Birdman in Oscar nominations. If it is showing in a theater near you, it is a definite must see whether you’re familiar with Wes Anderson or not. 

Final Say: Watch It

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