Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Movie Review: "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (2014)

Image Source
Movie"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Director: Wes Anderson
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 39 minutes

Mr. Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham), the owner of the once great Grand Budapest Hotel, recounts the tale of the hotel's greatest concierge, Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes). Gustave has a penchant for women who are very old, rich, blonde, and insecure. When Madame D (Tilda Swinton), one of his special lady friends, dies, Gustave is to be gifted an invaluable painting called "Boy With Apple" from her will. Madame D's son Dmitri (Adrian Brody) and her three daughters are unhappy with the decision and vow to block Gustave from taking the painting. After an autopsy, they discover Madame D was actually murdered and the family is looking to pin it on Gustave, who must prove his innocence, find her real murderer, and take what is rightfully his.

In true Wes Anderson fashion, this movie is eccentric, vibrant, hilarious, boasts a huge cast of very famous actors, and also brings back many of Anderson's regulars.

The introduction alone shows that audiences are in for a very unique take on this quirky tale. A girl stands in a courtyard in front of a statue of "the author" of  "The Grand Budapest Hotel," which she is reading while serenaded by three men on a bench. From there, it flashes back to the 1980's, where we meet "the author" (Tom Wilkinson) as he remembers his experience writing his book. The movie then flashes back to the 1960's where "the author" (Jude Law) meets and has dinner with Mr. Moustafa as he tells the story of Gustave H., which took place in a flashback to the 1930's. What a unique spin on a flashback sequence! The time-jumps were welcomed here and done so in such a glorious way. It should also be noted that the aspect ratio of the film changes throughout each decade, and by the time we get to the 1930's, it's in the old standard view movies used to look like when your grandparents were growing up. The inclusion of this change was very well thought out by Anderson and we give him props for doing so.

Ralph Fiennes and newcomer Tony Revolori were both spectacular in this film and they worked really well together on screen. Overall, the movie is smart, but not in a pretentious way, and the humor is often a mixed bag between dark comedy, wit, and slapstick, delivered, in large part, by Fiennes himself. The rest of the cast is great, too! It's always nice to see Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, and JEFF GOLDBLUM. It looks like it would have been a lot of fun to be around during the making of this movie.

Really, bottom line, if you like Wes Anderson, chances are, you'll love this movie. It's just SO him! Everything from the brightly colored outfits and the witty banter, to the outrageous (mis)adventures and his signature camera angles, "The Grand Budapest Hotel"  is a funny visual delight, almost like watching a live-action cartoon.

This will be one we will buy immediately when it comes out on DVD.

My Rating: 8.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 8.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 91%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

No comments:

Post a Comment