Loving a Wes Anderson film is an acquired taste, kind of like desiring anchovies or stinky blue cheese. However, his latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is just as great as The Royal Tannenbaums or The Fantastic Mr. Fox or anything else he has done. I guess someone should pass me the anchovies.
Set in 1932, Ralph Fiennes stars as Monsieur Gustave – the greatest hotel concierge in the history of hotels. He’s very good at his job, and even better at making sure the lonely, elderly ladies who travel to The Grand Budapest Hotel don’t stay lonely for too long. Yep, he’s a playa!
When one of his lady friends passes away, Gustave heads off to the funeral with his trusty lobby boy Zero (Tony Revolori). However, the family of the deceased is not very happy this illicit lover has inherited a valuable painting, and they challenge his claim to it, which sets off a chase across Europe when Gustave hightails it out of there, taking what he believes is rightfully his.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is a great, dry, silly, over-the-top comedy that will have you laughing for days. It’s a buddy comedy as we watch Gustave and Zero facing all sorts of obstacles together as the younger man doesn’t quite know what to make of it all, and the older gentleman reacts to everything with relish and daring.
Revolori is perfect with his innocent wide eyes and deadpan reactions to the silliness all around him, while Fiennes is on fire in one of the best roles of his career. He’s suave. He’s cultured, but also makes the most of the moments when he lets Gustave lower his veneer of class to reveal his true, profane nature, which are always the moments that have you laughing the hardest.
Most of all, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a Wes Anderson movie in every way shape and form, which should have you running to buy a ticket. On the surface, it looks like a bunch of people with bad hairdos, silly mustaches and horrendous wardrobe, but, as the movie progresses, you realize all of the superficial things lead the movie to become quirky, zany and full of outrageous characters played by some of the best actors in the business. C’mon! We’re talking about Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel, Jeff Goldblum, Tilda Swinton, Ed Norton and Willem Dafoe.
How could you go wrong?
The Grand Budapest Hotel is rated R for language, some sexual content and violence.