The Grand Budapest Hotel follows Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori), a young hotel lobby boy who (in the 1930s) assists his mentor and boss, the great concierge Monsieur Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes) on a grand adventure, as he is accused of stealing a priceless painting which was left to him in a will. Monsieur Gustave and Zero attempt to find evidence of the truth whilst staying out of sight from the police and the hands of a hitman.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is undeniably, a great film. For oh so many reasons.
To start with, I’ll shine a light on the first thing everyone will notice about the film; It’s directed by Wes Anderson. That sentence alone already tells you most of how the film is going to play out in both story and visuals.
Wes Anderson is known for his distinctive use of framing for the camera. For Wes Anderson, everything in front of the camera needs to be set out like a family photo or a very interesting painting and in The Grand Budapest Hotel, this goes triple. AND IT LOOKS STUNNING.
Another thing Wes Anderson is known for is his likeability amongst actors, a likeability which has managed to give this film an all-star cast unlike anything you’ve seen before.
Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Saoirse Ronan, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Tom Wilkinson, Léa Seydoux, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray and Bob Balaban… are some of the names in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Yeah. Pretty big cast.
And if having a cast with this many big names wasn’t enough for you, what if I told you that they’re all great?
I was terrified of Willem Dafoe, hated Adrien Brody, loved Jeff Goldblum (because he’s Jeff Goldblum), felt the love between Zero and Saoirse Ronan, Harvey Keitel was a badass, Jude Law was Jude Law, Tilda Swinton was old, etc.
But the one name there that needs an extra special mention is Ralph Fiennes because he is fantastic as Monsieur Gustave. Ralph Fiennes’ performance in The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of the best performances of 2014 and definitely one of the best performances in any Wes Anderson film.
Alexandre Desplat was nominated for two Oscars in 2014, one for The Grand Budapest Hotel and one for The Imitation Game, and although I don’t disapprove of him winning the Oscar, I disapprove of which film he won it for.
He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score and he won it for The Grand Budapest Hotel although I feel he should have won it for The Imitation Game. The score in this film is good and perfectly fitting for the film but I just personally prefer the score in The Imitation Game.
In my opinion, The Grand Budapest Hotel is Wes Anderson’s best film. It has the most entertaining story of any I’ve seen (although I’ve yet to see The Royal Tenenbaums) and is a perfect example of the coming together of all the departments on a film set.
The cast is superb, every shot looks like overly well framed quirky painting, the use of deadpan is spot-on, the direction is great and the soundtrack is perfectly fitting. What else could you want? Jeff Goldblum? They got him. Don’t worry.
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