18 – The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

18 - THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL - 2014   18 – The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) | ★★★★½

Director:  Wes Anderson; Screenwriter: Wes Anderson, Hugo Guiness

 Plot: A story detailing the adventures of an esteemed concierge, M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) and his newly hired but loyal lobby boy, Zero (Tony Revolori), in a fictitious European Grand Hotel.   The richness of the imagined backdrop jumps right at you,.This is the hotel’s grandeur at 1932 and Anderson’s quirk overflows in every frame but it doesn’t feel bloated at all. It’s a nice touch too to stick with one color palette. It feels as though Mr. Moustafa remembers it all in clear and vivid detail. The difference versus 1978 is stark and you can sense that 1932 might be romanticized but still you will not argue that 1932 is not better.  Camera shots are playful but not too much, again giving a hint that this is Anderson territory and that he knows just the right amount to give.   It does not readily give away at first what will be the running course of the story. For a while I thought it will only about how the hotel was once grand and now it’s not, instead, the mythology swerved (and actually went out of the hotel) and explored much of Zubrowska including the prison, Madame D’s mansion, inside Zubrowska’s trains, and Mendl’s, among many others. And as the story unfolded and founded new places to tell its story – adventure, thrill, and mystery dabbled to the simple comedic historical telling. The hybrid story that is The Grand Budapest Hotel was like sinking your teeth to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory but without that guilty after sensation that you get from devouring too much sweets. There’s so much more beyond all the eye candy. At its heart was the budding friendship between M. Gustave and Zero and you see that it is really their story that lifts the movie, it is that loyalty between the two of them that pulls the viewers in this make-believe universe.

“There are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity… He was one of them. What more is there to say?”

–  Mr. Moustafa

Runtime: 1hr 39min (IMDb) Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Jude Law, Adrien Brody, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson

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