The Grand Budapest Hotel Review – Masterful Fun With A Twist

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"The Grand Budapest Hotel," from FOX Searchlight Pictures and Indian Paintbrush, presents a magnificently constructed spoof of 1920's eastern European opulence, a madcap caper, and a tender tale of forever love lasting long after the grandeur fades.


From visionary director Wes Anderson, "The Grand Budapest Hotel," brings an all star cast including Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, and Willem Dafoe into his inspired world.  

"The Grand Budapest Hotel" begins with a silent walk through the snow to a solemn statute placing an offering of sorts alongside the countless others keys that hang with symbolic meaning to someone in this tiny town, soon to be swallowed by the German Occupation.

"The Grand Budapest Hotel," a story that spans the decades of an old man soul, begins as Tom Wilkinson, the aging author prepares for his speech on overcoming writer's block, reciting from index cards, the audience is slowly transported to pre-occupation Eastern Europe, where the young writer now played by Jude Law takes over the dialogue as he sets out explaining the oddness, mysteries and hidden splendor still housed in the worn down, lonely and silent hotel.

Mr. Moustafa, played by F. Murray Abraham, continues the tale and those who have passed through the lobby. The aging hotelier begins to enlighten the young writer of the days when "The Grand Budapest Hotel" was the most happening place, when rooms were filled with salacious, scandalous secrets and clandestine rendezvous.

This is when we meet Gustave H, the dastardly yet suave concierge with a penchant for service, played by Ralph Fiennes, and his trusted assistant the young Zero Moustafa, played by Tony Revolori.  The two crisp with dedication to duty, and equal devotion to other pleasures are seeing off the aging Madame D, played by Tilda Swinton who has fallen, madly, as Gustave has rekindled youthful passion, indulgence and lust.

This combustible combination sets off a mad dash caper, with more twists and turns than the countryside the two begin to travel as Gustave is bequeath a gift, faced with a fighting, determined and connected family, a lawyer, a trio of convicts, the occupied hit squad, an evil brother and the secret society of crossed keys.

Director Wes Anderson pulls backs the veil of age as each character is introduced until he settles on a time and place, a moment in history before the storm clouds settled adding to his characters layers, and allows the viewer to see inside his world of "The Grand Budapest Hotel."

Having traveled to Budapest I had expectations of contemporary remembrances that would transport, with a hint of nostalgia, back to walks along the Danube.

"The Grand Budapest Hotel," is not that. It is however a impressively built rendition of the roaring '20's richness, the misguided, charming devoted concierge, his dutiful assistant who rose through the ranks, by not an uncommon path for those days,  the parade of strange, eccentric and unusual guests.

"The Grand Budapest Hotel," is full of interesting cameos as Wes Anderson is able to gather an eclectic group of talent to commit to his wild, wacky, vision.

Visit "The Grand Budapest Hotel" you'll be glad you did!

"The Grand Budapest Hotel," is playing in theaters everywhere. Check your local listings.

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