Movie Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel

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Stars: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Tony Revolori, Mathieu Amalric, Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Jude Law, Jeff Goldblum

Rated R for language, some sexual content and violence, Running time 100 minutes, Comedy/Drama

Compare to: The Brothers Bloom (2008), Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

It’s almost irrelevant to review a Wes Anderson movie at this point. It’s not necessarily a “if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen’em all” situation as much as it is a “You know this movie is good, it’s just a matter of time before you get the chance.”

Any prejudicial feelings you may have on Anderson’s oh-so quirky overtones and hipster sensibilities are quickly done away with once you actually start watching the movie. It happens to me every time.Gustave is a legend among concierges and presides at the luxurious Grand Budapest Hotel where he is a friend as well as employee to the guests and father figure or sorts to the newest lobby boy, Zero. But when one of Gustave’s elderly friend dies, Gustave takes it upon himself to see to it that her will is doled out properly. Misadventure and murder follows.

Expect every shot to be perfectly centered.

Expect every shot to be perfectly centered, giving it an odd feel.

There’s nothing interesting about what I’ve just written out for the synopsis because it’s not so much the story that you’ll care about as much as it is the way everything is executed. From sets to costumes, actors to their dialogue; everything is as meticulous as it seems like it would be but all is handled in such a quick, upbeat manner that there’s no way you won’t have to see it again to catch it all.

On top of that, anything mentioned here would be a mild spoiler, as much of the fun a viewer has in a film like this are all the places the story takes them without them knowing that’s where they were going. So any twist and turn presented feels unexpected and welcome.

There’s not really a stand out performance in this as everybody is as good as the actor they’re in the scene with. But the cast is so great it’s really a matter of seeing who you like. Personally, I can’t get enough Jeff Goldblum in my life.

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But it could be the introduction of Lobby Boy Zero, played by Tony Revolori that comes the closest to stealing thunder. He doesn’t give any better a performance than the other players as much as he does hold his own with the talent presented that most film goers would generally be much more familiar with.

From beginning to end, there’s not much here to not enjoy.

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See? Centered!

Positives- Story moves quickly, dialogue is intelligent and funny even in the more serious moments, no phoned-in performances

Negatives- Some may not appreciate Director/Writer Wes Anderson’s style. If you’re not a fan of his other films, this one probably won’t change your mind.

Grade: A

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