Few things in life are certain, but we can always be sure that Wes Anderson knows how to make a gorgeous Film. Much-talked-about The Grand Budapest Hotel is everything his devout Fans could want: it is a thoughtful, highly-stylized celebration of Friendship and Love. It is a Crime-Thriller as much as it is witty Comedy and believe it or not, it is even partly factual, based on the writings of Matt Zoller Seitz.
Chalk full of Cameos by Stars of Anderson-Films-Past, The Grand Budapest Hotel centers on meticulous-eyed Gustave (Ralph Fiennes), Concierge at the decadent Establishment for which the Story is named. He develops an unlikely friendship with a trusty and eager Lobby Boy named Zero (Tony Revolori) who goes on to be his Sidekick at the onset of War.
After one of his many wealthy, elderly Lady Patrons passes away, Gustave gains a sizeable inheritance in the form of a Painting, prompting her surviving Family Members Dmitri and Jopling (played respectively by Adrien Brody and Willem Dafoe) not only to retrieve back what they feel is theirs, but perhaps even rid of him. Soon Gustave finds himself framed and imprisoned and only Zero, whose heart belongs to virtuous, young Pastry Maker Agatha (Saoirse Ronan), however can save him. Will Gustave be able to secure the riches to which he is entitled or will Dmitri and Jopling in their determination prevail?
Although Fiennes is in fine form, giving his comedic chops a try in a rare occasion, the true revelation in The Grand Budapest Hotel is Newcomer Revolori, who despite little on-screen experience, more than holds his own alongside several Heavyweights. Both Fiennes and he embark on a journey of Friendship together, perfectly in-sync with one another. And did I mention that Dafoe with the few lines he does have is brilliantly-menacing? Anderson‘s Fans will revel in delight at Cameos from Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson and an actually fitter-than-imagined Harvey Keitel.
Painted in gorgeous pastel blue, pink, red and gold, mustache-obsessed The Grand Budapest Hotel captures pre-War excess and grandeur and is very much is a delight to the heart as it is to the senses, transporting us away to a land of beauty. All the while it is aware painfully of the real atrocities of War at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Fox Searchlight release The Grand Budapest Hotel in Toronto on Friday, March 14, 2014 with additional Cities to follow the week after.
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