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'The Grand Budapest Hotel' manages to sustain the illusion

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The Grand Budapest Hotel

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Indulgent. Eccentric. Style over substance. Whatever onerous descriptions Wes Anderson's films evoke, they somehow still capture an air of whimsy like no other and his latest, "The Grand Budapest Hotel", sustains that magnificent illusion.

Inspired by the work of Austrian writer Stefan Zweig, the story focuses on M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes), Europe's greatest concierge at the World's ritziest hotel. He represents the pinnacle of service at the Grand Budapest. Somehow he anticipates his guests’ every need. Especially, the lonely and the widowed.

Gustave is less a representative of the hotel, and more a manifestation of the building itself. A picture perfect postcard on the outside. A beautiful structure nestled in a wooded landscape. And he on the inside, a debonair host willing to suit your every need. He is effete, proper, mannered and elegantly perfumed but, also rather tough and willing to seal the deal in secretive dalliances, as required by the elderly blonde-haired guests, of course.

Exquisitely detailed with handcrafted miniature hotels and gondolas, forced perspectives, painted backdrops and my pick for this year's best set design. Add in a lively soundtrack by Alexander Desplat, an excellent comedic turn from Fiennes and an incredible supporting cast that includes the Director's usual favorites in cameos, like Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman and Luke Wilson, and you have Anderson's most complete and classy work since "Rushmore"!

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