Advance screening courtesy of Eclipse Pictures and 20th Century Fox
Over dinner with a young writer the elderly owner of The Grand Budapest Hotel tells the story of how the hotel came into his ownership.
If you have never watched a Wes Anderson film before and you don’t mind a bit of the fanciful you are going to be in for more than a treat. His vision has the stylised unreality of Baz Lurhmann without the pomp or ceremony, his scripts have the wit of the Coen Brothers and his casts and have the star attraction of Woody Allen.
If, like me, you are well versed with his work from Rushmore and The Royal Tennenbaums through The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou to The Darjeeling Limited and Moonrise Kingdom… well you are still going to be in for a treat.
With The Grand Budapest Hotel Anderson has heightened his levels of sweet surreality, gentle absurdism and warm dark humour to perfection. As always his ensemble characters are morally dubious and still adorable. His themes of infidelity, family squabbles, innocents on a fantastic journey are mixed with a mixture of world weary characters (with at least one who is missing a limb or a digit) delivering their dialogue with another mixture of dead pan and highly emotive delivery. Every shot is meticulously put together and even his scenery manages to convey humour.
Ralph Fiennes is more than perfect as the legendary concierge of the titular hotel, Gustav H, who is involved with his new lobby boy Zero (Tony Revolori) in an art theft from the family of one of his customers but as with all Anderson movies the plot plays second fiddle to the characters and dialogue. For reasons that may remain unknown Anderson plants in the background and abundance of keys and many three digit numbers.
Some of the quirky characters you will meet are Agatha (Saoirse Ronan) the dead pan bakers Assistant with the inexplicable birthmark shaped like Mexico, Jopling (Willem Dafoe) as a psychotic assassin, Madame D. (an almost unrecogisable Tilda Swinton) an elderly client of the Hotel and Bill Murray (an Anderson favourite) who only manages two scenes.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is Anderson at his best and leaves you wanting more.
A must for lovers of the absurd and the quirky… asquird or quurby… if you will.
The Grand Budapest Hotel opens in Ireland on March 7th