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Film review: The Grand Budapest Hotel (8 out of 10)

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  • by Steve Payne
 

There are some directors who in general provide movies that are guaranteed to be interesting and worth going to.

Martin Scorsese is one, Steven Spielberg is another and Christopher Nolan is usually a sure bet.

You can add to the list Wes Anderson - but not everyone will agree.

Anderson brings a superb quirkiness to every film that he produces and this latest effort is no different.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is full of Anderson delights - vibrant colours, top quality actors and elements of near farce - that make it a great entertainment.

Star of the show is Ralph Fiennes in a role that gives him chance to show his comic talents and a great sense of timing.

He plays M. Gustave, legendary concierge of the hotel in question between the wars who attracts various elderly rich widows to his establishment because of the love and attention he gives them.

However, when one of his ladies dies, leaving him a priceless painting in her will, his life is turned upside down as he is accused of her murder by her family.

The whole story is told by the lobby boy Zero (Tony Revolori) who becomes a firm friend of Gustave.

Anderson is obviously well respected as so many fine actors are happy to appear in his films.

Some are regulars, such as Bill Murray (in a brief cameo) and Adrien Brody as the deceased widow’s unpleasant son.

But many of the other roles are filled with well-known actors.

These include F. Murray Abraham as an elderly Zero, Willem Defoe as Dmitri’s bodyguard, Jeff Goldblum as a lawyer, Saoirse Ronan as Zero’s love interest and Tilda Swinton (heavily disguised) as the 84-year-old widow to name just a few.

The action is played out in a fictitious European country but it’s good that Anderson has decided not to bother with his cast feigning accents.

So Ronan reveals her excellent Irish brogue (a rare treat for her) and Goldblum is unmistakably American.

The film does lose a little pace in the final third but this is a superb movie that shows Anderson to be a director worth sticking with.

Film details: The Grand Budapest Hotel (15) 99mins

Director: Wes Anderson

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Willem Defoe, Adrie Brody

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley

 

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