Wes Anderson’s ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ is one of his best

File Photo
File Photo

Come enter the whimsical world of Wes Anderson. It is colorful, quirky and leaves a delicious taste in your mouth. The stories are complicated but they will fill you with joy and grief all in one single swoop. For those who have yet to enter this world, now is a great time to take that first step. I recommend watching “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Anderson’s newest film. The movie is an absolute delight and one of his greatest films yet.

The film follows an exciting adventure that takes place at the Grand Budapest Hotel at the time between the two world wars. And the hotel is grand indeed. Located on a mountain top, it is a colorful, extravagant and crowded building filled with wealthy guests and an overachieving hotel staff.

The most legendary staff member is the concierge, M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes), a fast-paced, chivalrous and flirtatious man who dedicates his life to the well-being of both the hotel and its guests. Thus, it it comes as a big surprise when he becomes the prime suspect in the murder case of one of the hotel’s frequent and incredibly wealthy guests, Madame D. (Tilda Swinton).

Gustave rushes to his dear friend’s side, dragging along his lobby boy, Zero (newcomer Tony Revolori), and getting arrested in the process. But the adventure proceeds with the battle for the family fortune, an elaborate prison break and the attempt to clear Gustave’s legendary name. It’s fast, exciting and surprisingly violent.

The film is a story within a story within a story. A young woman reads the book “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which is written by an author who writes the book in first person, listening to the story being told by a much older Zero. Anderson has layered this film in such a way to celebrate the telling of events and how stories live on, become legends and bring joy to others.

The movie is inspired by Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig whose collection of novels inspired the world inside of the film. Both the author writing “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (Jude Law) and Gustave were based on Zweig himself.

The film is a charming, visually beautiful masterpiece. Anderson includes his signature colorful sets, wit and visual gags. The screen is crowded with quirky characters all played by the actors who have graced his films time after time: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Edward Norton. The cast is brilliant, especially Ralph Fiennes (“Harry Potter,” “Schindler’s List”) with his role as Gustave. The character was enchanting and delightful to have on screen and Fiennes played him perfectly.

The writing is crisp and the comedy is situational. Every aspect of this movie is brilliant and it is thrilling to watch. Anderson does not disappoint.

About the Author

Sierra Savela

Sierra Savela is a Chimes guest writer for the 2012-13 school year.

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