Saturday, March 22, 2014
Movie Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Grand Budapest Hotel is directed by Wes Anderson, which means that it's going to be quirky and unlike any film you've seen before. If you've seen The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox, or Moonrise Kingdom, you already have had a taste of his style and preference for being unusual. This movie started off promisingly but was soon slow in parts, and although overall I enjoyed it, I found myself getting restless near the end of it.
Pay attention, because this is a story within a story within a story ... and I may be missing "a story" somewhere there too. At the beginning of the movie, a young girl is walking and reading a book entitled The Grand Budapest Hotel. We then meet our narrator (Jude Law) who is staying at the hotel in the '80s, when it's not even half of the palatial residence it used to be. He meets a Mr. Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham), who is the owner of the hotel, but the circumstances upon which he came into possession of the hotel is a very long and intricate story - it goes back to before the days of war, when the hotel was in its prime, and Mr. Moustafa was just a Lobby Boy, under the tutelage of an M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes). A host of recognizable faces pop up during this story, as we learn how Mr. Moustafa transitions from one of the lowest-ranked employees of the hotel to the eventual owner - and the sad events that lead to this, as well.
This film had so many cameos and it was entertaining to see who would arrive next. Ralph Fiennes, Adrian Brody, and Willem Dafoe had more substantial roles, but you'll also see Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Tom Wilkinson, and more. I didn't know until after the movie that Tilda Swinton plays an 84-year-old - she's definitely unrecognizable - and Saoirse Ronan plays Agatha, whom the young Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori) tries to court.
Maybe see this film. This is one of the rare instances where I'm giving the film a good star rating but a Maybe instead of a Yes. Anderson definitely has a unique way of seeing things, and the film itself isn't even in your standard 16:9 ratio for most of it. There are quick cuts and interesting POVs (Point of Views) throughout the movie, and overall I did like his style. However, like I mentioned before, the quirkiness of it starts to wear on you a bit by the end, but luckily the film's runtime isn't too long (less than two hours). I'd recommend this movie for anyone who is a fan of Anderson's previous work, or anyone who enjoys an interesting story told in a different way.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is currently playing in theaters, and is rated R with a runtime of 100 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.