The Grand Budapest is essentially story-ception. It is the story of a writer who is recounting the events of his stay in the Grand Budapest hotel. On his stay he comes across the owner, Mr. Moustafa and he recounts the events of how he became the owner of the hotel. The film's real protagonist is from this story, M. Gustave, a legendary concierge who gets involved in an art heist and a series of murders. There's not a lot to write about the story without giving anything away, but this was my best attempt.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is the most Wes Anderson film that Wes Anderson has ever made, plus it's certainly his best. I, myself, am a fan of Wes Anderson. He is probably the most unique filmmaker of all time and his films are delightful to watch. This film may just be his crowning work. It features all of his styles and they're used to the full extent. This, of course includes his use of silhouettes, stylistic cinematography, simple yet hilarious humour and at least a dozen roles from his favourite actors. It was a wonderful film indeed.
The film crams so much into it's short runtime that it feels like much longer and this isn't a flaw. In fact it's a compliment. The film only runs for an hour and forty minutes yet there's so much too it that it's able to tell the same amount of story as a film that goes for over two hours does. I'm not complaining either as I actually wanted to see so much more.
Ralph Fiennes gives the single greatest performance in his career. Fiennes was already a brilliant actor prior to starring in this film, plus he's nearly unrecognisable as Voldemort in the Harry Potter series, but here he is at his best. He has never been better. His performance in this film is so alive and full of energy. He's able to deliver his occasionally foul mouthed and always hysterical lines with such precision that none of the humour ever feels like it's being forced or out of place. This is another aspect of the film that appears commonly in Wes Anderson films and I love it.
The film never slows down once. What I love about Wes Anderson is that he is able to make films that are so fast paced and unique that you never want them to come to an end, but unfortunately that is inevitable. Once The Grand Budapest Hotel got going the film just never stopped and before I knew it, the film had come to an end. I was disappointed when the credits commenced, but not because it was underwhelming, but because I was sad that it was over. There truly isn't any films that are like Wes Anderson's films.
To sum up The Grand Budapest Hotel is a real tricky film to review. It's delightful to watch, energetic and alive. The film is able to tell a lot in its limited runtime, Ralph Fiennes is at his finest and the film is incredibly fast paced.
4 1/2 Stars