Directed by: Wes Anderson
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Jude Law, Adrien Brody, Saoirse Ronan, TildaSwinton, Willem Dafoe, Bill Murray
I’ve got a little confession to make: I’d never seen a Wes Anderson film before The Grand Budapest Hotel. I know, I know. Shame on me.
It was so beautifully and artistically manicured that I did not dare to look away; not once. It was simply captivating. Every scene was choreographed with such precision: the symmetry in his frames, the cleverly thought-out cutaways and zooms and the superb production design (it was like flipping through a fairytale; there was not one pretty item out of place), I can understand why Wes Anderson has garnered such a cult following.
The beauty for me was that there was not one second that I was disinterested, there was always something to look at and something to feel. There were moments of humour, heart and ridiculousness, aided of course by Ralph Fiennes’ brilliant performance as Monsieur Gustave (his body language and facial expressions were on point every frame, an impressive reflection of Anderson’s theatrical style), the hotel’s charmingly animated concierge. And there were moments centred around murder and mayhem. But even then the film has been scripted in such a non-sensical and whimsical manner that it was fun for the majority of the time.
A story within a story within a story, The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the adventures had by the preposterously luxurious establishment’s former concierge, Monsieur Gustave, and his lobby boy Zero (Revolori). From showing him the ropes to stealing a priceless painting to escaping from prison, it’s colourful in both manner and matter.
Obviously I’m now going to work my way through his past works and make up for lost time.
Oh and The Grand Budapest Hotel experience was made even better thanks to Messina’s interpretation of the film’s featured dessert: the ‘Courtesan Au Chocolat‘. Scrumptious.