Imagination is a very precious thing. Original thinking and ideas in Hollywood don’t go well regardless of the strength of such film ideas. Thankfully directors and those in independent cinema can create with more freedom and preservation of vision. It’s because of this atmosphere that auteurs like Wes Anderson thrive. His latest is a welcome palette cleanse after the Hollywood machine pumping out high-profile films that are quickly forgotten.
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” follows the adventures of a young lobby boy named Zero who finds employment at the hotel named in the film’s title. Under the watchful tutelage of Monsieur Gustave (Ralph Fiennes), Zero finds his work becoming his life. Upon hearing of the passing of a beloved patron (Tilda Swinton), Gustave and Zero travel to pay their respects. But the deceased’s passing is appearing to be murder, leading the duo to avoid capture and uncover the truth. Along the way, the late woman’s family, led by son (Adrian Brody) and hired thug (Willem Dafoe), aim to get the most out her estate.
Anderson has once again created a unique and rich world of visual and subtle treats. Littered with small roles from familiar Anderson cohorts (Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Swinton) and recognizable actors new to his universe (Mathieu Amalric, Léa Seydoux, and Saoirse Ronan to name a few) make the film packed with fun and quirky interactions.
Though it may pail to his last film “Moonrise Kingdom,” it is still a really well made film that warms the heart. Told through a narration of a flashback of a story relayed to a young author (Jude Law), the story manages to maintain the passing of time without tripping over itself. With his signature humor and child-like wonder, this is easily one of the best movies released so far this year. 3.5 out of 5 stars
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