The Grand Budapest Hotel [2014] ★★★★

Grand_Budapest_hotel_poster.jpg.CROP.original-originalThe dumb rap against the brilliant Wes Anderson is that his movies (From “Rushmore” to “Moonrise Kingdom”) all hit on similar themes and techniques. Damn him. And damn Scorsese and his obsession with gangsters. And what’s with Tarantino and violence? My point is, an artist can spend a lifetime developing personal themes and deepening their resonance. Sure, they can trip on their own ambition (See “The Life Aquatic”). But the gifted Anderson has managed to absorb a vast number of influences, from the likes of Francois Truffaut, and create a style all his own. The magically compelling “The Grand Budapest Hotel” strikes me as the filmmaker’s best movie yet. It shows a director growing in confidence and maturity and I loved every bit of it. The main character is Monsieur Gustave H (wonderfully played by Ralph Fiennes), a beloved concierge at the elegant Grand Budapest Hotel in Zubrowska. His latest protégé is a young boy called Zero, a lobby boy who falls in love with Agatha (Saoirse Ronan), the girl who works at a local bakery. The plot thickens when the murder of an old lady and a stolen Renaissance painting puts Gustave and Zero on the run from cops. It’s a setup for a wild ride (think The Marx Brothers in “A Night at the Opera”), and it works like a charm. “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, Anderson’s eighth feature, is unlikely to convert those who believe the filmmaker is merely pretentious. If pretentious is all you see in “Rushmore”, “The Royal Tenenbaums” “Darjeeling Limited” and “Moonrise Kingdom”, buy a ticket to the latest Hollywood junk instead. To my mind, Anderson is one of the best directors of his generation or any generation. And his latest effort is nothing short of a masterpiece. Shot with a poet’s eye by Robert Yeoman and lifted by an unforgettable score by Alexandre Desplat, the hilarious and heartfelt “Grand Budapest Hotel” is a consistent pleasure. In these troubled times, that’s a gift.

Rating: 4/4

4 replies »

  1. Absolutely loved it! Thank you so much for the recommendation Anis. I think I’m going to watch it as second time as I didn’t get enough from the first time.

    • I’m glad you loved it as much as I did Maya. I can’t wait to see it again. On the big screen if possible. It’s definitely my favorite movie of the year so far.

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