The Grand Budapest Hotel – Film review

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a live-action film directed by Wes Anderson and is based on a novel by author Stephan Zweig. It stars Ralph Fines in the leading role of Monsieur Gustave, a concierge in the fictional “Grand Budapest hotel”. Since its release in 2014 the film has gathered critical acclaim as well as multiple Oscars.

Events take place in the fictional Eastern-European country of Zubrowka in the 30s and the narrative of the movie is daring and original in every sense of the word. Following the misadventures of Monsieur Gustave (Ralph Fines) and his lobby boy, Zero (Tony Revolori) as they are pursued because of falsely being convicted of murder and theft. Filmed beautifully and acted almost perfectly it has a surrealistic feel to every scene, yet it presents such marvellous characters that you almost do feel like the fictional land has come to life. The director pays homage to early 30’ cinema by having all the scenes that take place in that period screened in a 4:3 format. Yet the great utilisation of lighting and depth in each shot makes it stunning to look at. Visually this film is a marvel with its radiant colouring and incredible direction. Another treat for every moviegoer is seeing a vast range of actors and this adaptation displays that perfectly by having a widely known and diverse cast (some names include: Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel, Jeff Goldblum, Tilda Swinton and Jude Law). Wes Anderson does his best to guide each actor to give their best take on each character

What I personally got astonished by was the character of Monsieur Gustave, who was so well written and acted, that stole every scene he was in. Ralph Fines did one of his best performances in years with this portrayal of the posh concierge and was impressive to look at throughout the whole film.


As a fascinating exploration of the 1930s this movie deserves to be watched and I fully recommend it as it is a glaring example of original modern day cinema at its best. It shines in almost every aspect, from the gorgeous sets and make up, to the witty dialogue and interesting characters.




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