Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel movie review

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) Poster

Went with my friend B to watch this movie yesterday and what a fantastic farce it was.

IMDB says: The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.

In this Wes Anderson directed film, Tom Wilkinson (Shakespeare in Love, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) narrates the tale of  a young author (Jude Law of Cold Mountain, Sherlock Holmes) being told the circumstances of how the mysterious owner of The Grand Budapest Hotel, Mr Moustafa (played by F. Murray Abraham of Scarface, Amadeus) came to be the owner.  In this tale within a tale, Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient, Schindler's List) stars as M. Gustav, the eccentric concierge and Tony Revolori (The Perfect Game, My Name is Earl) the young Zero Moustafa ,when he is a lobby boy. 

Gustav goes above and beyond in the service of his duty at the hotel and sleeps with his older lady customers, but when 84-year-old Madame D (brilliantly played by Tilda Swinton of We Need to talk about Kevin, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe) is found murdered days after leaving The Grand Budapest Hotel, he is the chief suspect in the crime.  Although the executor of the will, Deputy Kovacs (a deadpan Jeff Goldblum of The Fly, Jurassic Park) suspects that Gustav may be innocent and that one of the late Dowagers family (which includes Jopling, played by Willem Dafoe of Spider-man, The English Patient, and Dmitri, played by Adrien Brody of King Kong, The Pianist) may be the true killer.  Gustav is arrested by Henckles (Edward Norton of Fight Club, American History X) and sent to jail, leaving the executor to investigate and only the missing family servant Serge X (Mathieu Amalric of Quantum of Solace, Munich) knowing the truth.

With the help of his fellow inmates (a fantastic Harvey Keitel of Reservoir Dogs, The Piano, plays Ludwig), his friend Zero and his girlfriend Agatha (Saoirse Ronan of The Lovely Bones, Atonement) however, Gustav plots his escape to prove his innocence and bring the real killers to justice.

With excellent cameos throughout, the film is a must-see for Anderson fans but may be a bit too off-kilter for mainstream cinema audiences.  For example, when Gustav inherits a priceless painting 'Boy with Apple' at the will reading, fearing the family will not allow him to receive it, he steals the painting and replaces it with an erotic painting.  The painting was created especially for the movie as Director Wes Anderson ordered an Egon Schiele-style painting that needed to feature "Two Lesbians Masturbating" and Artist Rich Pellegrino created seven versions and Anderson chose one. 

A fantastical farce.                                                                7.5/10

#TheGrandBudapestHotel   #WesAnderson   #RalphFiennes

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