The Grand Budapest Hotel
Starring Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, F. Murray Abraham and Adrien Brody
Written and Directed by Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums)
Rated R for language, some sexual content and violence
I have always had a huge love for Wes Anderson’s films. From Bottle Rocket to Rushmore (filmed in Houston by the way) to The Royal Tenenbaums and the rest that follow, I connect with his style, his color palette and his wonderful usage of actors. And while it’s hard to rank my favorites, his new outing is up at the top.
The crux of the story revolves around a concierge (brilliantly played by Ralph Fiennes) at a pre WWII Eastern Block hotel who finds himself on the hit list of a local family when an elderly woman he had been courting at his hotel dies and leaves him a valuable piece of art. Filled with incredible and memorable little stories with unique characters throughout, the film twists and turns in unexpected and joyous little adventures.
So why do I love Anderson’s films so much? Probably because they are so quirky yet so absolutely adorable. There is not a predictable moment in any of his films, and like Hannibal Lecter, you find yourself enjoying his delicious little brain and all of the nuances found within (sorry for any overtly cannibalistic references). Even in the darkest and most violent of moments in the film, there is joy to be discovered. It’s like a scary Disney ride where even though you might be a little concerned for your safety, you always know that there is a big happy mouse waiting for a hug on other side.
Like all of his other films, there is a huge A-list actor around every turn. Like roaches on a filet mignon, I’m fairly certain that pretty much every actor in Hollywood is dying to have any role they can get in Anderson’s movies and they all do their very best with not even an extra “phoning it in.” Fiennes, Law, Abraham, Brody as well as Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Ed Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jeff Goldbloom, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Defoe, Harvey Keitel, Owen Wilson and newcomer and co-star Tony Revolori all turn in these amazing performances that are a simply pleasure to sit back and watch.
In addition, this is one of the best productions Anderson has ever presented with interesting and gorgeous cinematography by long-time collaborator Robert Yeoman, a perfect score by Alexandre Desplat and 12 Years a Slave production designer Adam Stockhausen.
If you can’t tell, I’m a big fan of the film. I’ve seen it twice already and I’m sure many more viewings are to come. It is a sincere pleasure that I recommend it and hope that you have as much fun watching it as I have. A