Director: Wes Anderson
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, F Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Lea Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Tony Revolori.
Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori) secures a coveted position as lobby boy at the Grand Budapest Hotel in the Republic of Zubrowka.
He works under legendary concierge Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), who the lobby boy fondly remembers as “the most liberally perfumed man I’ve ever met”.
Clients, especially older women, are putty in Gustave’s well-manicured hands, including ageing matriarch Madame D (Tilda Swinton).
When she perishes in suspicious circumstances and leaves a priceless Renaissance painting entitled Boy With Apple to Gustave in her will, grief-stricken relatives including Madame’s greedy son Dmitri (Adrien Brody) plot the concierge’s downfall.
The finger of suspicion for Madame D’s demise consequently points at Gustave and he goes on the run with wily police chief Henckels (Edward Norton) and Dmitri’s sadistic henchman (Willem Dafoe) in hot pursuit.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is a tour-de-force of invention and creativity that offers viewers a luxurious five-star stay inside writer-director Wes Anderson’s vision.
He leaves no narrative stone unturned in his quest for laughs and heartfelt emotion, set to a jaunty score by composer Alexandre Desplat.
The narrative twists and turns at delirious speed, bookmarked into five chapters. “The plot thickens, so they say. Why? Is it a soup metaphor?” wonders Gustave aloud. Fiennes is a revelation in a rare comedic role and supporting performances are equally memorable including Swinton’s cranky grand dame and regular collaborators Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray.
This brilliantly bonkers ensemble comedy marries quirky production design with eccentric characters and wry humour, yet still manages to find a nub of humanity in every outlandish situation.