Review - The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), R, 99 minutes - I actually saw this film a couple of weeks ago, but between trying to get our house cleaned up in preparation for putting it on the market and my excitement over Captain America: The Winter Soldier last week, I haven't had a chance to get this review together.  Wes Anderson films tend to be a bit unique and this one, revolving around The Grand Budapest Hotel and its ownership through the years is certainly no different.

M. Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), concierge extraordinaire, is one of the more memorable Wes Anderson creations in my opinion.  Gustave is at the center of it all: from hiring and training Zero (Tony Revolori), a new Lobby Boy at the hotel to taking care of the hotel's guests in every way possible (yes, every way), to being bequeathed the rare 'Boy with Apple' painting by hotel owner Madame D. (Tilda Swinton) when she passes away.  The reading of her will by estate lawyer Deputy Kovacs (Jeff Goldblum) is what sets the chaotic hi-jinks of The Grand Budpest Hotel in motion.  Madame D.'s children, led by son Dmitri (Adrien Brody), take offense to Gustave being included in her will, thinking that he must have been taking advantage of the old woman.  The film plays out as Gustave and Zero go on the run, trying to elude both the authorities and Dmitri's hired muscle, the assassin known as Jopling (Willem Dafoe).

As with most of his films, Wes Anderson employs a cast that is a veritable who's who, comprised of both regulars and newcomers to the Anderson experience: those already mentioned are joined by F. Murray Abraham (Mr. Moustafa), Mathieu Amalric (Serge X.), Harvey Keitel (Ludwig), Jude Law (Young Writer), Bill Murray (M. Ivan), Edward Norton (Henckels), Saoirse Ronan (Agatha), Jason Schwartzman (M. Jean), Léa Seydoux (Clotilde), Tom Wilkinson (Author), Owen Wilson (M. Chuck), Bob Balaban (M. Martin), and Waris Ahluwalia (M. Dino).  

Because Anderson' films are a tad quirky, I've found that most people either love them or find them a bit too strange to really enjoy.  I must admit, they were an acquired taste for me.  I didn't connect with a couple of his earlier films, but I have really enjoyed the last few.  He has a unique style and sense of humor and I now look forward to his new projects.  As much as I enjoyed The Grand Budapest Hotel, I can't really recommend it to just anyone.  If you're like me and get a kick out of Anderson's films, this one's a must see.  On the other hand, if you've given his work a shot in the past and weren't impressed, this isn't going to change your mind.  But, if you're not familiar with Wes Anderson's work and enjoy something a little bit different, give it a shot!


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