Movie Review: "The Grand Budapest Hotel"



Wes Anderson’s 2014 film “The Grand Budapest Hotel” will be regarded as one of the best films of the year. The cast is incredible, with Anderson regulars such as Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum and Edward Norton, and with excellent performances from Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham and the debut of Anthony Revolori.

The story is about the concierge, Gustave H. (played by Fiennes) at the Grand Budapest Hotel during the years between World War I and World War II. Gustave embarks on an adventure with his newly appointed Lobby Boy, Zero (played by Revolori), because one of his more mature lovers and guests at the hotel is murdered. The pair overcome obstacles such as military occupancies, prison and ruthless brothers, all in the quest for Gustave’s “inheritance”.

The symmetrical and linear cinematography characteristic of Anderson can be seen in the first shots. It is a gorgeous film to watch, with excellent costumes and colors, and the artificial, paper mâché-esque scenery used in some of the transitional shots.

The wit and humor of his writing is superb. It always feels light-hearted, even in the direst of moments. There is never a dull scene, and the emotions evoked are genuine. The characters all serve a purpose, and they serve it well. Even the most minor of characters is significant to the story’s development, and that is a unique trait in Wes Anderson movies that make his work so compelling.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is a remarkable film that throws the audience at every turn, and then slowly caresses them in the soft humor and awkwardly human moments that make a Wes Anderson film so likeable. Out of all of the films that I have watched by him (I have not seen “The Royal Tenenbaums” or “Bottle Rocket”) this is tied for my favorite with “Moonrise Kingdom,” and has yet again given me a reason for keeping him as one of my favorite directors and writers.