Starring Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Mathieu Amalric
Directed by Wes Anderson, inspired by the writings of Stefan Zweig
IMDB Rating: 8.1
A beautiful tale in every sense – The Grand Budapest is a film that feels more in place about thirty years ago, but is a masterpiece which will be watched many years into the future.
The film follows the adventures of Mr. Gustave H, the eccentric owner of the esteemed Grand Budapest Hotel, and his loyal lobby boy and friend Zero Moustafa. After one of Gustave’s lovers is murdered he goes to pay his respects, only to find out that in her will he is gifted the priceless painting ‘Boy with Apple’, much to the displeasure of her remaining family.
First of all, the story is very good. Set in a fictional European republic during the two World Wars which adds an interesting historical edge. The hotel itself is more of a place than a story, with the chase for the painting taking centre stage. People who haven’t seen it who think it’s some luvvy-duvvy film about a pretty hotel and its charismatic owner during the war are wrong – this film does have some grit, not much but enough to not make it such a ‘Disney’ style film like people could fairly assume.
As mentioned earlier, this film is one of the finest collection of acting performances I’ve ever seen. six, seven, eight actors performing brilliantly and there could even be more than that! The cast itself is exceptional – seasoned and accomplished actors such as Fiennes, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton and Jeff Goldblum along with young and exciting actors such as Saoirse Ronan and Tony Revolori. Films have had big casts like this before, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie where they all put in exceptional performances! Fiennes’ lead performance was incredible as Mr. Gustave H – the charming, conning and lonely owner of The Grand Budapest. I was also thoroughly impressed with Ronan and Revolori in very mature roles, and I loved Goldblum as Deputy Kovacs – it felt like I hadn’t seen him in ages, perhaps since Jurassic Park! I could write about these performances all day, but I’ll quickly say that I thought Norton was also awesome, and move on.
It goes without saying that kudos has to go to director Wes Anderson for creating such a special movie. Everything visual about this movie is incredible – and if you don’t think it is special yet don’t worry, I didn’t think it was all that the first time, it was when I watched it again a few months later I realised its majesty. The way the film is shot almost completely using still shots gives the film a sense of place and realism – but coupled with the bright contrasting colours makes this film almost fantastical. It’s a compelling and astounding contrast in feelings and Wes Anderson should be very proud of what he has created.
This is a lot more than just art – this is funny, witty, dramatic and in some places quite rough – albeit not many places. This is a film that every film buff needs to see simply because it is compellingly different and unique for the modern age of cinema.
Seen The Grand Budapest Hotel? Tell us what you thought!
Also, look out for our Oscar and BAFTA preview coming out soon!