It has come to my attention that some of you, dear readers, still haven’t seen The Grand Budapest Hotel yet. As the protagonist, Gustave H, might say–this simply won’t do.
Alexandre Desplat who has done good work for Wes Anderson before, is at his best and from the first few haunting, yet lilting, notes of “Mr. Moustafa,” played as Jude Law climbs the hotel’s steps, you’ll be hooked. The story is told through the lens of four time periods, beginning with the present day and working back through time. It is a structure that is both easy to follow but highly effective in the film.
Wes Anderson has once again assembled his counter-culture brat pack including Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzmann, and Owen Wilson (to name a few) and brings his “L’Air de Panache” to the screen with his signature stylized look and characteristic idiosyncrasies. The movie swings from the hilariously obscene to the appreciation of high art. It is Anderson’s most accessible, marketable, and sentimental film yet. Viewers become engrossed in the world of this pink palace and Zumbrowka’s fine touches (goodies from Mendl’s, whiffs of Gustave’s cologne, etc.) and while this movie is emotional, it never reaches the point of saccharine nor does it prove detrimental to the underlying tone of the film. Don’t miss the opportunities to catch the slight touches of humor! Willem Dafoe turning his head briefly toward the camera and lifting his robe up to run, the howling organ music used for chase scenes through the hotel, and our narrator’s lack of interest in a fellow traveler’s heart attack at the beginning of the movie all make for a rousing, unique, and charming tale.
Gustave H, the protagonist, is more than a mere caricature–we see him angry, in compromising situations, and we even see him flippantly switch between his upstanding regimen to the base of his imperfect moral code. Of course, such characters are only given life if the actors live up to the task and, to me, this is Ralph Fienne’s grandest performance yet. Tony Revolori should not be overlooked either as he is disarmingly innocent and brave and fits the role of young Zero, the other protagonist, perfectly.
So, if you were to ask me, “Is it really worth going out and spending money?” or “Should I really watch an almost two hour movie directed by someone I’ve never heard of?” I would answer a resounding “Yes!” and echo that which young Zero says so many times in the film– “Truly.”
HIP claims no rights to anything related to the preview for The Grand Budapest Hotel nor do we claim to own anything. Source: IMDB
Also recommended for Wes Anderson fans and connoiseurs– The Wes Anderson Collection by Matt Zoller Seitz