The Grand Budapest Hotel

Writer/Director Wes Anderson ("Fantastic Mr. Fox") is at it again. I find this movie far more accessible than some of his previous films ("The Darjeeling Limited") so I'm happy. Inspired by the work of Stefan Zweig ("Letter From an Unknown Woman"), this is a goofy triumph of R- rated filmmaking.

We follow the (mis)adventures of a legendary concierge in a legendary hotel at a time when a legendary war threatens the borders of this legendary country. I can't recall a recent film that tickled so many of my funny bones: from the amazing production design (both interior AND exterior); the machine-gun dialogue and tongue-in-cheek humor; to a demonstration of the brotherhood of hotel concierges; plus, for movie fans, one famous face after another.

We spot:
  • Ralph Fiennes ("Coriolanus") has a blast as Gustave H., the super-efficient concierge. Compared to his usual dramatic roles, this whimsical comedy is a great change of pace for Fiennes.
  • Tony Revolori (Lots of TV) is Zero, his loyal lobby boy.
  • F. Murray Abraham (Lots of TV) is, many years later, the older Zero.
  • Tilda Swinton ("Moonrise Kingdom") is soon a corpse. That's all I'm gonna say...
  • Mathieu Amalric ("Quantum of Solace") may or may not be her killer.
  • Jeff Goldblum ("The Switch") is a lawyer who comes to read her will.
  • Adrien Brody ("Midnight in Paris") is a frustrated would-be heir.
  • Bill Murray ("Monuments Men") is one of MANY resourceful concierges
  • Saoirse Ronan ("Hanna") is a candy maker. I'm including her because there are so few women in this cartoony cast!
I'm running out of space and haven't scratched the top layer of actors.

Frantic and silly, this absurd adventure out-Andersons the previous works of Wes Anderson! Remember, in Anderson's comedies, everyone plays his or her role absolutely straight. This always enhances the comedy.
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This will give you a general flavor:
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