The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): Ralph Fiennes; F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Edward Norton, Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum
Imaginative, creative, zany, brightly lit in bursts of color, witty, entertaining and basically a sheer roller coaster ride with an lengthy list of A-list of actors. Fans of Wes Anderson films such as Moonrise Kingdom, The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox will not be disappointed by The Grand Budapest Hotel. It is Anderson's first action picture, with high-speed James Bond races, madcap Charlie Chaplin scenes, prison escapades along with a quirky screenplay and a crazy cast of characters.
The saga begins with Mr. Moustafa, (F. Murray Abraham) as the current hotel owner recounting his life story to Young Writer (Jude Law) in the ancient dining room of the legendary European hotel. The adventures span three periods 1985, 1965 and 1932 with the primary emphasis on the 1930's. Gustave H., (Ralph Fiennes) in the 30's is a famous concierge at the five star hotel dressed in the deepest shade of purple and Zero Moustafa, (Tony Revolori) is the lobby boy and trusted friend. Gustave is a ladies man who adores the older women and especially Madame D in her 80's (Tilda Swinton) who suddenly passes leaving a famous priceless Renaissance painting to Gustave called "Boy with Apple". Gustave and Zero steal the painting from the bereft and now furious family led by Dmitri (Adrien Brody) son of Madame D's. The lawyer, Mr. Kovacs (Jeff Goldblum)is caught in a spiders web between Gustave and Dmitri which is the basis of this comical chronicle. Additionally, beautiful bow-tied pink boxes of macaroons sprinkle many scenes in the film emphasizing perfection whiles surrounded by complete mayhem.
Fiennes steals the show as Gustave a suave and debonair man with a canny knack of changing personas, while oozing charm and bestowing the belief in greatness and perfection from all encountered. He keeps the train rolling throughout The Grand Budapest Hotel's uproarious and colorful tale. Revolori, Zero, sidekick is the quintessential straight man to the quirky Fiennes. Other A-listers grace the big screen from Edward Norton as Henckels a local policeman, Harvey Keitel, Ludwig, harden criminal, Bill Murray as M. Ivan, Tom Wilkenson, Author, Willem Dafoe as Dmitri's henchman and the list goes on.
The period also breezes over European history with lightness though darkness looms with fast paced energy bouncing all over the screen. The creative juices flow and this imaginative affair in one not to be missed. Sit back, enjoy the hare-brained ride and please pass the macaroons!
Rating: 4 Stars - For Wes Anderson fans.
Writer-director: Wes Anderson.