Directed by: Wes Anderson
The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the adventures of Gustave H (Fiennes), a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy (Tony Revolori) who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune — all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent.
As the film starts out, we are (without knowing it), coming in at the end of the story. A writer, (Law) is a guest at the aging Grand Budapest Hotel, which is Located in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka, a European alpine state that has been ravaged by war and poverty, The writer discovers that the remote, mountainside hotel has fallen on hard times. Many of its lustrous facilities are now in a poor state of repair, and its guests are few. While there he makes the acquaintance of a much older Zero (F. Murray Abraham) who relates to the writer the story of the hotel.
What follows is an amazingly orchestrated and thoroughly syncopated film of the actions of Gustave H, and Zero, his lobby boy, as they navigate their way through a complex and convoluted plot that revolves around an aged patron passing away and leaving Gustave H a priceless painting in her will; a move that angers her son, Dmitri Desgoffe-und-Taxis (Adrien Brody). Unwilling to allow himself to be bullied by Dmitri of deprived of the painting — Boy with Apple — Gustave H, and Zero steal the painting, causing Gustave H to be arrested and sent to jail.
Unwilling to allow his mentor to be incarcerated on trumped-up charges Zero arranges for a jailbreak that is as entertainingly hilarious as it is complexly convoluted. The result is a film that is very nearly as perfect as Anderson’s last outing Moonrise Kingdom, while proving to be every bit as engagingly brilliant. So, if you are tired of all the same, formulistic Hollywoodland films that populate the multiplexes these days, then you truly owe it to yourselves to locate a theater that is playing this amazingly wonderful film, and checking it out.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.