Movie Review : The Grand Budapest Hotel




The screening I attended was a charity screening presented by the Arts Health Institute. They are an organisation who desire to bring creativity to care. As stated on their website:

The Arts Health Institute believes that the arts enrich our lives and when we are ill or infirm we need creative engagement more than ever. The arts help humanise institutions and are vital in providing quality in care. We bring creativity to care.

You can find and support this wonderful organisation here.


This is a telling of the adventures of the flamboyantly fabulous and legendary concierge Gustave H (Fiennes) and his Lobby Boy, Zero (Revolori) as they quest for a stolen artwork and a vast family fortune. Set in the years between the two great wars, The Grand Budapest Hotel is the place du jour for the rich and richer to see and be seen. It is particularly attractive to the more mature, blonde and terribly wealthy woman. You will see why 😉

The plot is so enticingly complex that I cannot even begin to describe it now, but when you are watching, it is an absolute delight. My movie companion described it perfectly……he said ‘it was a cartoon brought to life….with lots of running’. And it is.

Basically an old woman who is utterly devoted to Gustave dies and leaves him a priceless painting. Her greedy family is none to happy about this and engage the help of a slew of seedy and sinister looking characters to ensure the painting remains with the family. Gustave is thrown into jail and finally calls on the concierge network to help him out. Oh and it is told as an historical tale to a young writer (Law) from the mysterious hotel owner Mr Moustafa (Abraham)

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This movie reminded me of an old-time movie farce. The dialogue is fast, witty and timed with almost clinical precision. There are no real special effects so the entertainment value falls back to the script and its actors, which are all divine. Needless to say, there is a dream cast (mostly tiny bit parts) that would have many Directors drooling with envy.

With such an intricate plot to navigate, the movie is divided into moments….. single shots that pan to precisely the exact object at precisely the exact moment. Where the dialogue is rapid fire and wordy, the cinematography seems almost sparse. What you see on-screen is a story within a story, like the Russian dolls.

The Grand Budapest was so witty and charming that the audience was in stitches for much of the movie. The script is clever in a way that is, unfortunately, a rarity these days. You have to pay attention and you are more than rewarded for your efforts. Ralph Fiennes is known for darker, more intense characters. Gustave is extremely intense but in such a quirky and fabulously entertaining way, you cant help but laugh at his antics and eccentric ego.

If you are a fan of clever scripts and over the top just-this-side-of-camp movies, this is the one for you. It’s a shame this wont get a wider release because it is endlessly entertaining and fun. Loved it.

Love Flick xx


Director :   Wes Anderson

Starring :  Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson

Running Time :  100 minutes

Release Date :  10 April 2014

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