‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ : Best of 2014
I know it’s very early in the year to be claiming that Wes Anderson’s ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ is the best film of 2014.
While other films will surely attempt to dethrone the early champ, they’ll have a tough road to follow.
Very few films in recent memory have been so much fun, so enthrallingly entertaining, that I wish there had been more movie to watch. How often does that actually happen?
You plunk down your $10-$15 for a seat, hoping that you will at least leave the theater feeling that you got your money’s worth. To experience a film that actually leaves you wishing that the film was longer? That doesn’t happen very often.
In typical Wes Anderson style, ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ is dryly funny, sharply written, and filled with an incredible and recognizably talented cast (often in smaller roles.)
‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ often reminded me, in its tone and spirit, of director Rob Reiner’s equally absurd classic ‘The Princess Bride.’
Probably not since Reiner’s film have I so thoroughly enjoyed such a willfully ridiculous, visually imaginative, and wistfully twisted little fairy tale on screen.
‘Grand Budapest Hotel,’ for all of its impressive style and visuals, is the most fun when it simply turns the supremely talented cast loose on the dialog and their performances.
I had no idea that Ralph Fiennes was so skilled at comedy.
So often, Fiennes has played straight man to a more dynamic co-star that it was truly a pleasure to watch him in this role.
Fiennes portrays Monsieur Gustave, a worldly concierge at the titular hotel. M. Gustave is eccentric, demanding, intelligent and cultured, and yet completely oblivious all at the same time.
It’s one hell of a performance by Fiennes and sure to be a lock for an Oscar nomination later this year.
Gustave’s story is mostly told in a lovingly created flashback fantasy by Mr. Moustafa, in a touching performance by F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus). The once very exclusive Grand Budapest has fallen, over the course of many decades, into a sad reflection of its former splendor. Some travelers and residents still occupy rooms, and it is one of those odd, lonely souls (Jude Law & Tom Wilkinson) who sets our story in motion.
I’m content to leave a synopsis or any plot details out of this review. Needless to say, the story moves along like a train nearly coming off its rails…carefully abandoning logic as it locomotives forward.
The pacing is light and fun. The visuals are creative and fantastical; bordering on surreal at times, but grounded just enough in reality to keep the audience engaged.
The cast is impeccable, from Fiennes manic and proper concierge to Jude Law, the traveling writer who serves as the impetus for Anderson’s absurdist comic fairy tale.
The smaller roles are peppered with some truly fun appearances from well known stars. Flixnerd doesn’t do spoilers of any kind, so you’ll just have to go see the movie to enjoy these fun supporting performances.
‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ is a deliciously creative movie that perfectly marries intelligent art with a broadly appealing commerciality.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this is some dry, overly artsy-fartsy little movie.
‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ is a magical fantasy brought to life by a visionary director.
Though myself not a huge fan of Anderson’s work previously, I think I may have just been converted. The most fun I’ve had at the movies in a long time, which compels me to take another look at ‘Rushmore,’ ‘Moonrise Kingdom,’ and ‘Bottle Rocket‘ among his other previous films.
I feel a binge-a-thon coming on.Flixnerd Rating: FIVE/FIVE Stars