The Grand Budapest Hotel review by George Hooper - Cinema Paradiso
Welcome to the Grand Budapest, a place of debauchery, fine service and some seriously unusual antics, and thats just from the renowned concierge/manager Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes). The Grand Budapest is also a place of unwavering loyalty, emotional confessions and more heart that you know what to do with. My point being, this is a fine follow up to Moonrise Kingdom and a great addition to the Wes Anderson collection.
The film follows Gustave and his relationship with new lobby boy Zero (Tony Revolori) as they are sent on a mission to prove that they own a painting passed down to Gustave by one of his patrons. However he must face off with her conniving son Dmitri (Adrien Brody) and his henchman Jopling (Willem Dafoe), a menacing man intent on protecting the family. With the help of the Budapest staff as well as Zero’s girlfriend Agatha (Saoirse Ronan) they might just get out of this sticky situation with the painting and their lives.
The best part of The Grand Budapest isn’t the usual Anderson style, the quirky comedy or the powerhouse comedic performance by Fiennes, its the fact that the film deals in weighty topics but never lets it control the tempo of the story or the power of the laughs. In fact I could compare Budapest to American Graffiti, a film that dealt with tough topics but never let it guide the uplifting story. Both films finished on an elated notes only to leave you pondering if what you saw was truly ‘happy’.
That being said Budapest wouldn’t work without the awe inspiring turn by Fiennes as he bites into everything Anderson gives him with gleeful abandon. Gustave is a delightfully giddy character, one never disheartened by life. He is a man who lives life to the fullest while taking advantage of its little pleasures. The story might be told by Zero but it would be nothing without Mr Gustave H, the funniest and campest Wes Anderson character in years.