Filmmaker Wes Anderson’s adventures of the wonderful Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars in the fictitious Republic of Zubrowka and his educating of and friendship with lobby boy Zero Moustafa.
In true Anderson style the film plays beautifully with narrative structure (similar to ‘The Royal Tanenbaums’), adding layers upon layers of storytelling (like ‘Rushmore’) over three decades until its rather like a historical and mythical wedding cake.
This is due in part based on the works of Austrian author Stefan Zweig, whose gorgeous, elegaic novellas and stories Wes Anderson apparently discovered in a bookstore in Paris. The witty dialogue and snappy one-line reposts make this also a charming and funny watch.
With a huge supporting cast of extremely well-known faces – some of whom take up cameo roles with no more than approximately 60 seconds of screen time, so blink and you will miss them – Anderson utilizes his regular muses and collaborators to create the almost perfect ensemble piece. Watch out for F. Murray Abraham, as the grown Zero, is typically magisterial; he’s become one of the most compelling presences in contemporary cinema. However it is Ralph Fiennes as the aforementioned Gustave who steals almost every scene as Fiennes, a truly great actor, displays a superb comic sensibility.
So, part comedic character study, part farcical adventure, The Grand Budapest Hotel is another winning charmer from Wes Anderson, a truly unique cinematic voice.