The Grand Budapest Hotel
Director: Wes Anderson
Screenwriters: Wes Anderson (screenplay and story), Hugo Guinness (story), Stefan Zweig (inspired by the writings of)
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Jude Law, Tony Revolori, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Jeff Goldblum, Tom Wilkinson, Harvey Keitel, Matthieu Amalric, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson
Rating: Won 4 Oscars: Best Score, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Make-Up and Hairstyling. 5 Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Original Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Cinematography. Won 1 Golden Globe: Best Picture – Comedy or Musical. 3 Golden Globes nominations: Best Director, Best Actor – Comedy or Musical (Ralph Fiennes), Best Screenplay.
A writer reflects on a story he heard as a younger man about a concierge, a lobby boy, a murder, a stolen painting, and a hotel called the Grand Budapest.
Wes Anderson’s first Oscar winning film may also very well be his best. Anderson’s meticulous style here reaches its zenith in a story that is perfectly tailored to show off his style; a look achieved not by computer effects but ingenious use of miniature models as well as a perfect marriage between set, costume, music, character, and story. Some might accuse Anderson of making movies simply to vent his quirkiness, but his stories are just as much, if not more, character driven and not merely beautiful set pieces. The famous concierge M Gustave H. is the crazy centre of a fantastic story, portrayed wonderfully by Ralph Fiennes (Schindler’s List, 1993) who seems perfectly cast in a role which was initially intended for Johnny Depp; a geniune comedic tour de force from an actor mostly known for dramatic roles. He is professional and unprofessional, polite and coarse, honorable and opportunistic, flirtatious and aloof. A great chracter who isn’t quite like anything Anderson has written before. Gustave H. is seen through the admiring eyes of our lobby boy, Zero (Tony Revolori), who follows his mentor through thick and thin while still pursuing his love interest, Agath (Saoirse Ronan). The story of the villain are just as iconic and quirky from Adrian Brody’s spoilt and vicious heir to his terrifying and brutal henchman played by Willem Dafoe in a role reminiscent of his rodent character in Anderson’s stop motion masterpiece Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009). Speaking of brutal, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a bit more violent than Anderson fans. It is a fun, dramatic, romantic, and visually stunning film which is a good place to start for first time Anderson viewers.
Moviegeek Info: All of the men in the film has facial hair of some sort (although Zero’s is drawn on). According to Bill Murray one of the moustaches seen in the films is fake, but it’s not his own.
Picture Copyright: 20th Century Fox