The Grand Budapest Hotel — MOVIE REVIEW

Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, and Tony Revolori in The Grand Budapest Hotel

“Get your hands off my lobby boy!”  That is just one of numerous lines that are so memorable from The Grand Budapest Hotel. Wes Anderson’s new movie gives us a look inside the life of a hotel concierge and his lobby boy. And it is fantastic. Not a moment goes by where you are not just appreciating what is on screen. You will laugh and chuckle and smile all the way through this one. Wes Anderson really is an acquired taste. You either love him or you hate him. Whether you are a fan of his previous body of work or not, you can not disregard the man’s attention to detail. How did his new movie match up to his previous films?

As I stated above, most people either love or hate Wes Anderson. I, for one, love him. I always have. The first movie of his that I ever saw was Rushmore, and ever since then I have loved every one of his movies. Yes, even the extremely slow The Darjeeling Limited. He has made critically acclaimed films that were also brutally loved by his fans. He has made films such as Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Darjeeling Limited, Moonrise Kingdom, and now The Grand Budapest Hotel. This film may not be his best film to date, but it is up there with the rest.

Okay, the story. Pretty much, you get a story within a story, within a story. It begins with a nameless Author (Tom Wilkinson) telling the story about himself as a younger man (Jude Law) visiting the Grand Budapest Hotel in the country Zubrowska. While there, he strikes up a conversation with the hotel’s owner, Mr. Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham) who then tells him the story of he came to own this once great hotel. And from there we get the story of M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes), the popular concierge of the hotel in 1932 and how he took a much younger Moustafa (Tony Revolori) in as his lobby boy and eventually, his friend. Then we get a murder mystery, stolen paintings, yummy looking cupcakes, and a horrible family conspiracy.

There is a lot going on in the plot and I didn’t explain everything because I didn’t want to give a lot of information away. But all of this starts because one of Gustave’s former lovers, Madame D (a very old looking Tilda Swinton) gets murdered. And from there, all of the fun stuff happens. It is clear from the get-go that her son, Dmitri (Adrien Brody) is somehow involved. And when that priceless painting goes missing, he sends his right-hand-man Jopling (a hilarious and villainous Willem Dafoe) after Gustave.

Ralph Fiennes is downright hilarious in this movie. He is quirky and just all around fun. But it is his moments when his character breaks his normal trends, when it becomes a riot. A scene comes to mind when his life is hanging in the balance and then he just yells out an expletive. It is not how his character usually acts and the few times we see him break character are absolutely hilarious. Equally impressive is newcomer Tony Revolori as the lobby boy known as Zero Moustafa. This kid has some awesome comedic timing. His lobby boy to lobby boy advice speech had me cracking up. But the movie is about the friendship of these two and they both are amazing.

There are numerous big-name actors in this movie. Some have big parts and some are glorified cameos. But they are all a treat to see. Edward Norton is hilarious in all of his scenes. Harvey Keitel is always awesome, especially since his segment kind of calls back to classic films such as The Great Escape. Jeff Goldblum was great, as was really the rest of the cast. Willem Dafoe is downright scary to the point where his actions are almost hilarious. The cat throw almost brought me to tears. But then there are the scene where he is just scary (the fingers in the door scene). We also get appearances by Bill Murray, Bob Balaban, Jason Schwartzman, Saoirse Ronan, Owen Wilson, and Mathieu Amalric.

One of the best scenes in the movie for me was the downhill ski-chase scene. Because it was almost making fun of high-budget CGI chase scenes. Where this one was just super sped up and ridiculous. I was laughing for five minutes straight. That plus the great utilization of the entire cast make this a highly enjoyable movie. It is funny how much pink is in the movie. If you watch it, you almost have to notice the amount of pink Anderson puts in this movie. There is a lot. Even in his unimportant scenes, Anderson puts so much attention to detail in there. It is amazing to catch while you are watching.

There are lines from this movie that I will be quoting for years to come. It is hilarious, thoughtful, and just downright enjoyable. Is this Wes Anderson’s best movie? Probably not. But it is definitely up there with the rest of them as far as good movies go. Definitely see this one; don’t miss out on one of the funniest and smartest movies you’ll see this year.


Ralph Fiennes as M. Gustave
F. Murray Abraham as Mr. Moustafa
Mathieu Amalric as Serge X.
Adrien Brody as Dmitri
Edward Norton as Henckels
Saoirse Ronan as Agatha
Willem Dafoe as Jopling
Jeff Goldblum as Deputy Kovacs
Harvey Keitel as Ludwig
Jude Law as Young Writer
Bill Murray as M. Ivan
Jason Schwartzman as M. Jean
Tom Wilkinson as Author
Owen Wilson as M. Chuck
Tilda Swinton as Madame D.
Bob Balaban as M. Martin
and introducing Tony Revolori as Zero Moustafa


+: The entire cast was utilized really well; even the glorified cameos

+: Dozens of quotables lines. That is due to some clever, witty, hilarious and just overall well written dialogue.

+: Wes Anderson’s style and attention to detail really show in his movies and this one is no exception.

+: Ralph Fiennes and newcomer Tony Revolori are amazing separately and together; both providing numerous laughs

+: Hilarious but also thoughtful at certain points.

+: Scenes that shock you and some that will make you laugh until you cry.

+: That ski-chase scene

+: Loved the homage to The Great Escape

+: The wars and events that kept changing throughout the course of the hotel were very well woven into the plot and made things even funnier when they collided with Gustave and Zero.

+: Willem Dafoe’s evil Jopling

+: A good and fun story


-: It might be a little too long, but its not that noticeable because it is extremely enjoyable

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