Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Rate: ****1/2

The Grand Budapest Hotel was genuinely quirky, but I would expect nothing less from Wes Anderson, whose other films deliver on his unique film and storytelling style. Told from the viewpoint of the concierge on the eve of World War I, the story unfolds from the viewpoint of the author who is told the story by the hotel's current owner Zero Moustafa who recounts how he came under the tutorship of the concierge, who is played impeccably by Ralph Fiennes. 

It's a complex story and woven together through the narrative provided by Moustafa to the author who is also narrating, too. I know it sounds confusing, but it's not. The basis of the story is how the concierge comes to own the hotel and how through his brotherhood and mentoring with Moustafa he comes to own the hotel. The film highlights a bygone era when the concierge and "service" meant something -- and good manners. Loaded with scandal and intrigue, the film is compelling and utterly strange and quirky. You can't help but get sucked into the ridiculously polite antics of the concierge who is always in good form despite some clear adversity. 

It's not a good film for children who will not be able to keep up anyway, but it's a great grown-up film. Go see it on a date night.

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