ADAM PETERSON. Movie Columnist.
The latest feature from Wes Anderson follows his typical offbeat formula and does not break any new ground but is nonetheless an enjoyable diversion and a breath of fresh air from all the generic blockbusters currently dominating theaters.
The bulk of the story is set at a picturesque hotel in a fictional European republic in 1932. A new lobby boy named Zero becomes the personal servant of the concierge, Gustave H, who basically runs the hotel. The two quickly develop a friendship and get into all sorts of misadventures together. The complicated plot involves the murder of a wealthy widow, the robbery of a priceless painting, and much more.
Ralph Fiennes is fantastic as Gustave H, masterfully delivering all the witty dialogue and keeping the audience on his character’s side. Seemingly dozens of other famous actors appear in small roles throughout the movie including Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, and Adrian Brody.
Similar to his other films, Anderson immerses the viewer in a world that is not quite fantasy but does not seem to be part of the real world either. The cinematography, shot on location in Germany, is gorgeous and the hotel itself is a magnificent set. This film has a little more excitement than some of Anderson’s other films such as Moonrise Kingdom. There are some great sequences such as a ski race down a steep snow-covered mountain and a hilariously cartoonish gunfight near the ending.
Overall, I left The Grand Budapest Hotel feeling satisfied. It is not a movie that I imagine thinking about or discussing much in the future, but it more than justifies the cost of admission.by