One of the Most Surprising Films of 2014
Nominated for an outstanding 9 Oscars, The Grand Budapest Hotel is directed by Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom) and has an all-star cast: Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter), Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes), F. Murray Abraham (Inside Llewyn Davis), Owen Wilson (The Internship), Saoirse Ronan (The Host) and Bill Murray (The Monuments Men) - just to name a few. The film is inspired by the writings of Stefan Zweig and tells the adventures of Gustave, a famous concierge at a renowned hotel and Zero, a new lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. So is the film as grand as its title?
I really believed that this film was going to be shockingly boring. How wrong could I be? This was probably the most fast paced film (of its genre) that I have ever watched. It didn't feel like I was watching it for 95 minutes. I really enjoyed how the film was a story within a story - it worked out really well! I was interested in both the scene between the two men at the dinner table and then the story of Gustave and Zero. The film was very light hearted and humorous at times. This was nice to see as this film could have gone town the period-comedy/drama route which would of been awful! The screenplay was clearly adapted well as there didn't seem to be any clear plot-holes in the story.
I also enjoyed the style of the film and the cinematography. I liked how when the 'old' story was being told, the screen became a square shape which added to the vintage feel. This film basically had all the ingredients to the type of film that I do not like but I was surprised that I enjoyed the vintage look. Particular colours also seemed to be enhanced - e.g.the reds in the elevator and the purple on the suits which made the film much brighter and older looking - great work! Also, the film was edited well so the 2 stories didn't get muddled together and become confusing.
The acting was also great. Even though there wasn't anything to stretch the actors too much, there were no wooden performances - everyone still tried. Fiennes was great as Gustave and was quite humorous - as was new actor, Tony Revolori whilst playing Zero. I was also impressed with Saoirse Ronan as I haven't seen her act greatly in her recent movies (The Host is an example of this).
Even though I liked the most of this film, I felt it became too stupid at some points which didn't work with the rest of the film (e.g. tip toeing across the guards beds and they didn't wake up). Maybe not as grand as the title, but the film is a fun watch.
Directed well by Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest is a very unique film and the synopsis looks a bit bland. However, do not be led astray, it is a very enjoyable watch and is one of my biggest surprises for a 2014 movie.