Wes Anderson has created a resume of work that is out of the ordinary, unusual and quirky and his latest venture in the cinematic arts “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is no different. Upon first watching the trailer, “Moonrise Kingdom” immediately came to mind and I must shamefully admit I had to get confirmation of director of this movie to make sure they were the same. The trailer was that of humor, intrigue and had a retro feel, which audiences have come to expect from Anderson.
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is a unique style of movie and story. The movie starts as a teenage girl approaches a statue of a head in a cemetery with a novel that shares same name as the movie title. The movie that follows is the contents of the novel by “the author”. Falling back to the past we see the author (Jude Law) checking in to the Budapest hotel where he meets the current hotel owner, Zero Moustafa who “if interested” vows to tell the story of how he came to own the grand hotel.
The novel/movie follows the tale of a legendary concierge, M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) who teams up with a young Zero in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka, which is in the midst of war. M. Gustave serves all the wealthiest, elderly patrons, namely Madame D who appears to have a special place in his heart. Before her last departure from the hotel, they share a tender “I love you” and only days later Gustave learns of her death under mysterious circumstances. Thus, the mystery, intrigue and whodunit begin.
Around each turn, with each new plot twist and character introduction, the audience is amazed at the star power this film has. Starring Law, Fiennes, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, and that is just to name a few of the familiar faces. Each character is given a unique role. Fiennes and Tony Revolori (who plays young Zero) have great comic chemistry and complement each other on screen.
Other reviews and audience comments reflect on the lack of emotional drive that this movie has, as opposed to other Anderson movies. At the heart, this movie does seem to have that Anderson heart thumbing at its core despite it not being a central plot element. The love of Zero and bakery girl, Agatha, is interwoven throughout the main storyline and audiences get a love to cheer on. The action and chaos that ensues, screams Anderson style and creates a comfortable feelings for those who are fans of his movies. It has the same offbeat humor and artistic filming styles that audiences have come to expect from the director.
Cinematically brilliant and a story that has a bit of everything, this movie will both delight and intrigue serious moviegoers. Anderson has created another movie that fits right into his style and directorial expectancy. The all-star cast creates characters that draw the audience into the storyline. If you are looking for a movie that out of the ordinary, artistically beautiful and skillfully acted, this is just the movie for you.