Sunday, March 30 2014, 09:35 PM MDT
Movie Reivew: The Grand Budapest Hotel
4 out of 5 Stars
Director: Wes Anderson
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Recommended To: Wes Anderson fans and those looking to be taken to a candy-colored world.
Synopsis: The story of Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), the concierge at the famous Grand Budapest Hotel, and Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori), the hotels new lobby boy.
Review: Just when you thought that Wes Anderson had made his most Wes Anderson film in 2012s Moonrise Kingdom he returns with a film that goes even further into his fantasy world. Its a pleasant place that resembles reality, but is painted in more innocent pastels. It features a large cast, many of which have become Anderson regulars, and as such many of the roles are nothing more than glorified cameos. It does feel like a waste to use the likes of Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray in such small roles because even in these brief glimpses the characters feel as interestingly complex as those that dominate this particular version of the story. And yet, to give the characters their fair due would stretch the film far beyond its 100-minute running time. Sometimes less is so much more.
This tale, which is a story within a story within a story sort of affair, is a whimsical murder mystery caper involving an overly attentive concierge, a dead wealthy patron, a newly revised will, a priceless painting and a very upset family. The film carries a similar tone to all of Andersons movies. Even when The Grand Budapest Hotel strays into peril, and this is Andersons most dangerous movie, it feels cartoon safe. That will inevitable be considered a weakness by some. In my estimation it is simply a product of the world that Anderson has created. We dont dismiss Looney Tunes because its violence is half felt. We embrace it as part of the cartoons universe. That said, whereas Charlie Chaplin was able to say a whole lot more with The Great Dictator while keeping a similar tone, Anderson seems content to simply entertain without really offering a social commentary that applies to the real world. To that end, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a delicious pastry, but not a scrumptious feast.
-Ryan Michael Painter