[pullquote cite=”” type=”left, right”][amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&chan=That Film Guy&asin=B00IONUOPQ][/pullquote] After watching Wes Anderson’s last film, 2012’s Moonrise Kingdom, I remember thinking it was the most ‘Wes’ of all his films but his latest offering may have ‘out-Wesed’ it.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is a comedy caper that encapsulates all the essential elements that we’ve come to associate with the American director’s distinctive, stylish. It’s a real hoot and laugh-out-loud funny at times.
Much is made of Anderson’s ensemble of regular actors but it’s a newcomer to Wes World who carries the film. Ralph Fiennes is magnificent as Monsieur Gustave, the concierge at the titular hotel who is meticulous as he is gregarious, charming staff and guests alike with his sophisticated manner, attention to detail and his utter devotion to providing the best service possible. When it comes to rich, elderly ladies, the services he provides goes beyond the call of duty which is what fuels the film’s plot as he inherits a priceless painting from a deceased amour which outrages her family.
The film moves from farce to intrigue, robbery and murder but comedy underpins the whole shebang and it’s all held together by Fiennes’ brilliant performance, which has a touch of Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous and a dash of Basil Fawlty about it. Fiennes shows a real gift for comedy and timing, reeling off one-liners and veering between controlled charm and exasperated fits of swearing.
He’s ably supported by a stunning array of actors assembled by Anderson with standout turns from Willem Dafoe’s menacing henchman, Tilda Swinton’s eccentric millionaire, Adrien Brody’s scheming heir and especially newcomer Tony Revolori’s befuddled but resourceful apprentice lobby boy.
Anderson never lets the pace lag and the tone remains breezy, even when violence and the threat of war and Fascism touches the lives of Gustave and co.
As you’d expect, the film is exquisitely designed, from the minutest details of the hotel to the wonderfully opulent sets, and all Anderson’s trademark visual flourishes are on display.
In terms of pure entertainment and enjoyment, this must rank as one of Wes Anderson’s finest films, if not his best. A brilliantly conceived and realised piece of movie-making that will leave you with a smile on your face.