Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel - Quirky Brilliance

I've just checked and it's not just me.

The movie rating website gives The Grand Budapest Hotel a 90% wonderful.

We're in agreement.

This is the best film I've seen this year, just surpassing "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" in greatness. Loved every quirky, strange, glorious, camp, rompy over the top minute of this Wes Anderson soon to be classic.

To preface this, I've started on a temporary job and at the base of the building is an arthouse cinema. I finished work at 4.45 and made it into the cinema as the trailers were starting, not that I needed a cinema fix, I just wanted to see this and have done since I saw the adverts for it a few months ago.

For those who don't know about Wes Anderson, he's the writer / director behind movies like "The Royal Tannenbaums" and "The Darjeeling Express". He's got a stable of actors with whom he likes to work - Owen Wilson, Bill Murray and Adrien Brody to name a few. His films are filled with a lot of pastiche, tableau scenes, over the top acting, dysfunctional families and the ensuing hilarity that all of these features bring.

This type if cinema isn't for everybody. The plot is pretty thin, the character tend to be stock and there is nothing remotely realistic about the film, which is why I loved to whole scenario.

The film centres around the life of the concierge of the Grand Budapest Hotel back in the thirties. Told from the point of view of the owner of the hotel and one time Lobby Boy, Zero, we follow M. Gustave and the loyal Zero as they try to discover who murdered one of the hotel patrons.

For me, Ralph Fiennes stole the show as M. Gustave. When I think of Ralph Fiennes the two things that come to mind are the mile high club and Voldemort, but he's actually a great actor who normally does darker, heavier films. He blew me away in "The English Patient". He was allegedly fantastic in "Schindler's List."not that I've seen it (on my list, just need somebody to watch it with). In this film he looks like he's having a hoot, playing the over the top M.Gustave. M.Gustave is somebody we'd all love to be for a day. He's a cultured ratbag. I will not say anything more about it.

The cameos in this film a truly inspirational. Willem Dafoe as the creepy contract killer, the never dead Jeff Goldblum as the elderly victim's lawyer. Adrien Brody as the victim's son and a plethora of Wes Anderson's stable in small but integral roles.

Most of all the cinematography is just divine. Gloriously shot, it's rich in colour and form. The hotel, in it's current form and in it's former glory jump off the screen.

The film had me cheering, cursing, gasping and doing to odd spit take as it continued it's scurrilous ride around the mythical country of Zubrowka, which looks like a bit of mix between Poland and Transylvania.

Okay, it's a bit camp, a lot silly and completely unbelievable, but coming out of the cinema I called my mum and recommended it to her, more for the fact that it's light, fun and glorious to see.

It's out on limited release around Australia at the moment. Hunt it down and go enjoy yourself for a couple of hours.

1 comment:

Jackie K said...

I love Ralph Fiennes! Oddly enough the Qantas episode kind of made me love him more...