FILM REVIEW: The Grand Budapest Hotel, (2014)

“It’s delightful,It’s delicious, It’s delirious It’s delectable, It’s

dilemma

It’s

de limit

, It’s deluxe It’s de-lovely”

 THE-GRAND-BUDAPEST-HOTEL-elevator-scene

THE-GRAND-BUDAPEST-HOTEL-elevator-scene

   Thank you Cole Porter. The Grand Budapest Hotel is all of these things. Wes Anderson

has

proved himself to be as smooth as glass, as breezy as a zephyr, as sophisticated

and

as archly witty as Porter himself. From the beautifully designed pastel-hued hotel

exterior

with its wedding cake embellishments

to

the

too

-picture perfectly shaped and

placed

trees on the mountaintop location Anderson plays with scale, color, and depth of field to create a totally fairy tale quality.

   The time frame is between the wars - an imaginary country somewhere in

middle

Europa. The characters are very much caricatures - all good or all bad, victims or

villains

. The exception being Ralph Fiennes as M. Gustave, the

legengdary

concierge of

the

legendary Grand Budapest Hotel, who plays his character as a mix of a fey rakish

dandy

and Hercule Poirot. He veers between a posh elegant accent and formal

verbiage

and jarringly contemporary

louche

pronouncements like “She was dynamite in

the

sack”. Willem Defoe as an arch-fiend (think Odd Job) is completely over the top. Saoirse Ronan as the pure and innocent Agatha is as winning as Tilda Swinton, the

spoiled

,

uber

rich, aging grand dame, Madame DeGoffe

und

Taxis is not. Adrien Brody

as

Dmitri, her

smarmy

, greedy, conniving heir is pure Boris Badenov (Rocky and Bullwinkle). There is a huge cast of well-known actors who portray their characters with finely-tuned tongue-in-cheek performances and eccentric accents.

   It is a madcap tale in the tradition of Irving Thalberg’s 1932 Grand Hotel, which won the Best Picture Academy Award that year. There is a murder, art theft, romance, military

interventions

, a jailbreak and a chase scene across snowy mountains which involves ski

lifts

and a toboggan. Told with sly humor and so much attention to detail on every level

that

it keeps one in a delighted state of awe at the endless creativity which has been

brought

to bear in the production. In short, it is a glossy confection which lives up to all

of

the d-words of Cole Porter.

Review

by Belle McIntyre

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