Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is funny, original and beautifully acted. Many moments will stay with you. It’s a delight.
It’s just about the best shaggy dog story ever, filled with visual flair, stories within stories, art and escapes upstairs and down funicular railways. And there are exquisite cakes, all made near an Eastern European hotel that looks like a pink cake.
Ralph Fiennes plays Gustave H who manages the hotel on behalf of its owner. We are in the mythical country of Zubrowka (which is, in reality, a Polish bison-grass vodka). The inside jokes and slapstick laughs brought to mind the finest moments of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, with memorable and witty lines.
Fiennes does his leading man turn with such gusto and humour that you hope he gets more roles like this. He is wonderful.
And he is very ably supported by a gorgeous star-studded cast who all seem to be having a terrific time.
Relative unknown Tony Revolori manages to be an equal to every one of the famous stars. It’s a fabulous performance.
Based on the works of Stefan Zweig, it’s Anderson’s most populist film to date, although there are many of his familiar touches and motifs here.
Within all this humour, there is still a serious heart and comments on war, death and sadness. There are a few quite violent scenes.
Without spoiling the surprises here – and there are many – stay right through the credits for another guffaw.
The absolutely-packed Stratford East Picturehouse adored it and I must see it again.
Set during the 1930s and filmed in Germany, there are anachronisms but these only occur to you afterwards.
While you’re watching it, every frame and line of its 99-minute running time grabs your attention.
Do see it on a big screen, if you possibly can.