Opening 6 Mar 2014
For an excursion into a bygone era, check-in at the Grand Budapest Hotel in the alpine country of Zubrowka. The hotel’s illusive owner Mr. Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham) recounts to Young Writer (Jude Law) how in 1932 the legendary concierge Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes) befriends Zero (Tony Revolori), an inexperienced lobby boy and about an escapade involving a priceless Renaissance painting amid a family’s inheritance wrangles. Having perfected luxuriant ambiance, the quixotic Gustave H caters to every whim of his filthy-rich clientele. When Madame D. (Tilda Swinton) dies suddenly, Gustave with Zero in tow rush to her estate. En route they get caught-up in the upheaval sweeping the European Continent, albeit Capt. Henckels (Edward Norton) – whose parents frequent the hotel – intervenes. At the Dowager’s domain anxious relatives await Deputy Kovacs’ (Jeff Goldblum) reading the will; her son Dmitri (Adrien Brody) is openly hostile to Gustave whereas the faithful Serge X (Mathieu Amalric) completes Madame’s last wish. Gustave’s panache out-maneuvers fiends, police and fascists as events escalate.
Director Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom, The Darjeeling Limited) creates a mythical realm as luscious as Agatha’s (Saoirse Ronan) pâtisserie: where time and the ever-changing landscape of quirky characters move with the speed of an electric current amid uniquely choreographed images (Robert D. Yeoman, cinematography) and sound (Alexandre Desplat, music). Anderson credits Austrian author Stefan Zweig’s influence – “humanism, simplicity and effective style” – in this beacon a propos friendships, honor, and promises performed. Exuding a classy comic outré most frequently found in films of the past century against a rich tapestry (Adam Stockhausen, production design) that incorporates prewar epochal realities, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a holiday destination recommendation that guarantees fond memories! (Marinell Haegelin)