The Grand Budapest Hotel

8.1 IMDb
6 February 2014 Release
$ 25 000 000 Budget
Duration
Genres:Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Year:2014
Countries:USA, Germany
Director:
Writers:,
11 Votes
82%

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In the far reaches Eastern Europe in the former Republic of Zubrowka, there once was the Grand Budapest hotel. A writer remembers a stay at the hotel during the off season many years ago and recalls the tales he heard of the hotel's past from the elderly owner, Mr. Mustafa. He tells the young writer about how he came to acquire the hotel and of the original concierge of the Grand Budapest, M. Gustave H. Mustafa was a lobby boy at the time and accompanies Gustave to the reading of a will after one of their regular guests dies. She leaves Gustave a valuable painting but when the woman's son challenges the will, Gustave and Mustafa steal the painting setting off a series of events that will lead to Mustafa present circumstance.

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Movie Comments

  1. Ruben Mooijman, 4 weeks ago
    Can a film be absurd, funny, exciting, violent and colourful at the same time? Yes. 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' combines all those elements. And I didn't even mention the most important characteristic: it is visually wonderful.

    In this film, director Wes Anderson creates his own universe, full of colourful characters, old-world charm and witty one-liners. The nice thing about creating your own universe is that you can make it look perfect. Every shot, every little detail and every set is flawless. From lead character Gustave H.'s purple jacket to the title of the newspaper announcing the war (The Trans-Alpine Yodel) - Anderson has given thought and attention to everything.

    The story is not very important, because it is merely a vehicle for the stunning visuals, the dark humour and the rapid-fire dialogue. It's all about a hotel concierge, Gustave H., who is being chased by various villains for stealing a painting. All this is set against the backdrop of the Nazis invading Central Europe (although in Anderson's fantasy world they are not called Nazis of course). Some of the scenes are very funny, but there is always a darker tone because of the looming war. Anderson doesn't shy away from extreme violence, but he shows it in an offbeat and almost comical manner.

    My favourite scene, in which it all comes together, shows concierges in hotels all over Europe, calling each other to help Gustave H. Each of them is shown in his hotel (with a wonderful fantasy name off course), busy doing some important job like tasting the soup or giving first aid to an unconscious hotel guest, when he is being called away to the telephone. Each hands the job over to his assistant, and answers the phone. This fast succession of little scenes is done so perfectly, it's a great joy to watch.

    Ralph Fiennes steals the show as the sophisticated Gustave H., who never despairs, even in the most unfavourable circumstances. He is supported by a large number of star actors, who are sometimes almost unrecognizable. Because of the amount of support actors, some of them are a bit underused. Tilda Swinton gets rather little screen time, as does Harvey Keitel.

    The film moves forward at a breakneck speed. You have to be very alert in order not to miss something. The plot is not always very easy to follow, and the dialogue is fast. And there are the great camera angles and the wonderful detailed sets to pay attention to. I think by seeing the film a second time you can discover lots of things you didn't notice the first time.
  2. Jan Kalina, 4 weeks ago
    Wes Anderson is one of the last directors -auteurs- who's got complete control on the film set and has the power to make whatever kind of film he desires. His distinct visual style is apparent since his 1996 debut Bottle Rcoket. But that was just a start, with every film he made he was perfecting his technique more and more. This marvelous attention to detail, the way he composes his shots( tracking shots, the symmetry, the characters running in slow-motion), chase scenes, love story, nostalgia, explanatory montages, the colourful set design and the prevalent theme of every one of his films: family. This all adds up to the reason why the audience enjoys Anderson's film so much. This all is brought to perfection in Grandhotel Budapest.

    Through complex narrative framework, which itself is a mockery of all these films that are being narrated by someone and is also being an excuse for not being too realistic, we get to a story of a young lobby boy named Zero Moustafa and Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes)the concierge of the Grandhotel Budapest. Many of the female guests of the hotel mainly come to enjoy Gustave's company. When one of these ladies passes away, Gustave grabs Zero and boards a train for her mansion. Soon he's blamed for her murder and hunted by police led by Edward Norton and a grim-faced assassin played by Willem Dafoe. There also is a love story between two young teens - Zero and Agatha (Saoirse Ronan) who has a birthmark in the shape of Mexico.

    I frankly don't understand how can this film be successful in the USA. This film is just so typically European, that I guess some aspects of the film Americans just aren't familiar with. Some of the humor reminded of old French, Italian and Czech comedies.

    Wes Anderson remains to be a stand-out filmmaker who never disappoints with any of his creations and is a safe bet to rely on his qualities. You won't want to return to the real world when the credits start to roll.
  3. corrosion-2, 4 weeks ago
    Wes Anderson is one of the most original film makers working today. None of his films can be categorized into any particular genre. His latest, The Grand Budapest Hotel, which opened the Berlin Film Festival, continues that trend. It is a tale within a tale within another tale. Whilst every shot has been meticulously arranged as though a work of Art hanging in a museum, story wise Anderson has let his imagination run wild. Though the tale (with Tom Wilkinson as the author of the story) and the tale within the tale (with Jude Law as the young author & F Murray Abraham as the mysterious owner of THe Grand Budapest Hotel) have straightforward narratives, the tale within the tale within the tale, which comprises the bulk of the film and is set in the years preceding the Second World War, is a wild uproarious train ride of story telling. It also boasts the cast of a life time: Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson & countless cameos. It will delight Anderson fans but is more likely destined for Art house cinemas as it is too off center for mainstream audiences. The production design and music are outstanding and even the end credits are imaginatively done (and received another ovation from the audience).
  4. bob-the-movie-man, 4 weeks ago
    The Grand Budapest Hotel is the latest from Wes Anderson, and what great fun it is. My review of Monuments Men pointed out that putting the likes of George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Bill Murray and Hugh Bonneville in the same film was no guarantee of a good film. Following that logic, what should we make of the following turning up together: Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murray, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Defoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Edward Norton, Tom Wilkinson, Saoirse Ronan, Owen Wilson and (a wonderfully made up) Tilda Swinton? The answer is a near masterpiece of cameos that add up to a highly entertaining and memorable film.

    In a complex serious of flashbacks, Tom Wilkinson plays an author remembering his younger self (Jude Law) being recounted, a number of years before, the life story of The Grand Budapest's mysterious elderly guest Zero Moustafa, played by Abraham. (Are you still with me?) Featuring strongly in this life story, Ralph Fiennes plays hotel concierge and lothario Gustave H., seducer of his elderly and wealthy guests. He is supported in this role – for everything outside the bedroom that is – by trainee Bellboy, and Gustave's protégé, Zero (in the younger form of Tony Revolori).

    Following the murder of one such guest (Tilda Swinton), Gustave is not surprised to feature strongly in her will, awarded a priceless Renaissance painting – Boy with Apple. This is much to the displeasure of her son Dimitri (Adrien Brody) and his evil henchman Jopling (Willem Defoe). What follows is a madcap pursuit across snowy landscapes, various grisly murders, a couple of civil wars, some disconnected fingers, a prison break and a downhill ski chase.

    All the cast seem to enjoy themselves immensely, but it is the production design and cinematography that really shines through: every single shot of the film is just a joy to look at, from the bright pastel colours of some scenes to the oak-panelled finery of the elderly lady's mansion. Beautifully crafted, beautifully lit,beautifully costumed, beautifully filmed. Bringing a film out so early in the new Oscar-year must be risky: but one can only hope that the voting members have a long enough memory to recognise this movie in these sorts of categories.

    There are some interesting crossovers to recent films: both 'The Book Thief' and 'The Monuments Men' were filmed – as this was – in Studio Babelsberg in Potsdam. No coincidence then that the steam train chugging through the East European countryside looked startlingly similar to that in the opening scenes of 'The Book Thief'; and if you have Bill Murray and Bob Balaban in town for Monuments Men, then why not stick them together for this film too? Simples! Alexandre Desplat turns up AGAIN with another quirky and fitting score.

    All in all, if you like the quirky style of films of the likes of Moulin Rouge then you'll love this. Highly recommended.

    (If you enjoyed this review, please check out my archive of other reviews and while there sign up to "Follow the Fad"! Thanks!).