Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Lilabet Johnstongil, ’15

The Grand Budapest Hotel is Wes Anderson’s highest-grossing film to date. It is his first one to break the 100 million dollar mark, and has received critical acclaim from many respected film reviewers (including me). It is a confection of a movie, with a massive ensemble cast, lavish sets, luscious foods and seemingly endless displays of wealth and beauty. The film spans many decades, but the main plotline takes place in a fictional Eastern European country between the World Wars. Its protagonist is Zero (Tony Revolori), a young lobby boy at, obviously, the Grand Budapest Hotel. He works under the rather self-centered but charming concierge of said hotel, Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes). The film’s story is a complicated one, involving murder, art thievery, young love, extravagant pastries and comically horrible jails. Probably the most exorbitant of Anderson’s movies, it is a delightful romp through snowy landscapes and beautiful European hotels. Although it is at times cartoonish (especially its violence, which it has quite a bit of for a Wes Anderson movie) and slightly confusing towards the end, it is, all things considered, an enchanting movie. Macabre and melancholy elements are woven throughout, but they serve to elevate the comedy rather than lend an actual air of woe.  8.5/10. Rated R. Probably still playing.

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