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‘symmetrical cinematography and the crazy hair’ ★★★★1/2 Review of The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
August 23, 2014, 4:22 pm
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Grand Budapest
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Comedy, Rated M, 100 Minutes.
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Edward Norton.
Available for mobile cinema screenings from 3 September – Outdoor screenings from 3 November 2014.

The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and his relationship with Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. Through an unexpected bequest by frequent hotel guest Madame D. Taxis, Gustave becomes the beneficiary of a priceless Renaissance painting – which the Taxis family is determined to keep as part of its enormous family fortune. The ensuing chain of calamitous events take place against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent on the eve of war.

There is no mistaking a Wes Anderson film, even if you’ve only ever seen one before as soon as you see The Grand Budapest Hotel you will recognize the kooky characters, the symmetrical cinematography and the crazy hair. It’s like all Wes Anderson films have taken place in an alternate reality, much like the earth we know but with quirky turned up to eleven.

The Grand Budapest world feels like a colorised version of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes, or many other early 30s films, with its snow covered model exteriors, train cars and hotel set interiors. That become the scene of an art-heist/romance/thriller/prison escape & fictional biography of the legendary concierge Gustav H. played brilliantly with impeccable comic timing by Ralph Fiennes. An all-star cast including Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Edward Norton, F. Murray Abraham, Harvey Keitel and Willem Dafoe to name just a few back him up, including a brilliant an almost unrecognisable Tilda Swinton.

There are only a few truly unique directors that have created their own brand of cinema, just like you would say a Quentin Tarantino film instead of a crime thriller. You would also say a Wes Anderson film, over calling it a comedy, as they have truly become their own genre. It’s not that Anderson has run out of ideas or just riffing on the same style and tricks, he’s perfecting a masterpiece like a model railway or a dollhouse, everything is perfectly placed and paced and like a fine wine just seems to be getting better and better with age.

Review out of five stars: ★★★★1/2 Stars

Review by Andy Marshall – to find me on Letterboxd click HERE

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