Review: Anderson film impresses visually, comically

Irene Ryan
Contributing writer

grand budapest hotel photo
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” was released March 7, and grossed $811,166 in its first week in North America. (Photo from

Wes Anderson’s latest flick “The Grand Budapest Hotel” follows the adventures and misfortunes of M. Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes), a concierge in 1932 at the famous Grand Budapest Hotel, and his lobby-boy protégé Zero (Tony Revolori).

The story is presented to an author (Jude Law) visiting the hotel years later, long past its glory days, by its aging owner Mr. Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham).

After Gustave’s wealthy lover, Madame D. (Tilda Swinton), is found dead, Zero and he travel to her estate and find she left him a priceless painting, “Boy with Apple.” After protests from Madame D.’s family as to the proper ownership of the painting, they steal it and hide it back at the hotel.

Gustave is then accused of her murder and sent to prison, but he escapes incarceration with the help of Zero’s girlfriend Agatha (Saorise Ronan).

Throughout the film they are chased by the angry son of Madame (Adrien Brody), pursuing the stolen art, their hired private detective and assassin Jopling (Willem Dafoe) and the authoritative, but clueless, Officer Henckels (Edward Norton).

Fans of the Harry Potter films will appreciate Fiennes, who played Voldemort, although they may not recognize him with a nose. Fiennes brings comedic highlights to an already amusing film with his raunchy quips and his love of rich, blonde old ladies.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” contains the distinct Wes Anderson aesthetic: vibrant colors, bright, orchestral music and his unmistakable film style full of zoom and cut shots.

The film also incorporates some of Anderson’s most elaborate, diverse sets, switching from the landscape of the Republic of Zubrowka, a semi-fictional European alpine state to Zubrowka’s dreary, gray prisons seamlessly.

Anderson is known for his other popular films “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “Moonrise Kingdom” and “The Royal Tenenbaums.”

He received the Silver Berlin Bear for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” at the Berlin International Film Festival. Anderson also received his first number one spot in the United Kingdom.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is rated R and runs 99 minutes. The film is currently showing at Ronnie’s and the Tivoli.


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