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8/10
Absurd, funny, exciting, violent and colourful
rubenm15 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Can a film be absurd, funny, exciting, violent and colourful at the same time? Yes. 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' combines all those elements. And I didn't even mention the most important characteristic: it is visually wonderful.

In this film, director Wes Anderson creates his own universe, full of colourful characters, old-world charm and witty one-liners. The nice thing about creating your own universe is that you can make it look perfect. Every shot, every little detail and every set is flawless. From lead character Gustave H.'s purple jacket to the title of the newspaper announcing the war (The Trans-Alpine Yodel) - Anderson has given thought and attention to everything.

The story is not very important, because it is merely a vehicle for the stunning visuals, the dark humour and the rapid-fire dialogue. It's all about a hotel concierge, Gustave H., who is being chased by various villains for stealing a painting. All this is set against the backdrop of the Nazis invading Central Europe (although in Anderson's fantasy world they are not called Nazis of course). Some of the scenes are very funny, but there is always a darker tone because of the looming war. Anderson doesn't shy away from extreme violence, but he shows it in an offbeat and almost comical manner.

My favourite scene, in which it all comes together, shows concierges in hotels all over Europe, calling each other to help Gustave H. Each of them is shown in his hotel (with a wonderful fantasy name off course), busy doing some important job like tasting the soup or giving first aid to an unconscious hotel guest, when he is being called away to the telephone. Each hands the job over to his assistant, and answers the phone. This fast succession of little scenes is done so perfectly, it's a great joy to watch.

Ralph Fiennes steals the show as the sophisticated Gustave H., who never despairs, even in the most unfavourable circumstances. He is supported by a large number of star actors, who are sometimes almost unrecognizable. Because of the amount of support actors, some of them are a bit underused. Tilda Swinton gets rather little screen time, as does Harvey Keitel.

The film moves forward at a breakneck speed. You have to be very alert in order not to miss something. The plot is not always very easy to follow, and the dialogue is fast. And there are the great camera angles and the wonderful detailed sets to pay attention to. I think by seeing the film a second time you can discover lots of things you didn't notice the first time.
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10/10
A perfect holiday without leaving home.
xcal32121 March 2014
My heart is still rolling from the escape to 30's Europe this afternoon, and without jet lag. This movie is an inspiration, a dream, a walk through a painting and a study of humanity.

Ralph Fiennes is a phenomenon as M. Gustave. his interactions with every cast member and especially newcomer Tony Revolori are fantastic. The later holds his own weight beyond belief and the entire film is an amazing adventure with James Bond style chases, a large murder mystery, the best placed cussing and of course the sensational cinematography. The sets, models, angles and even the most nondescript characters come to life each on their own and together as a symphony of beauty. It's freaking brilliant; The Grand Budapest Hotel.
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10/10
"There are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity... He was one of them. "
jan_kalina25 April 2014
Wes Anderson is one of the last directors -auteurs- who's got complete control on the film set and has the power to make whatever kind of film he desires. His distinct visual style is apparent since his 1996 debut Bottle Rcoket. But that was just a start, with every film he made he was perfecting his technique more and more. This marvelous attention to detail, the way he composes his shots( tracking shots, the symmetry, the characters running in slow-motion), chase scenes, love story, nostalgia, explanatory montages, the colourful set design and the prevalent theme of every one of his films: family. This all adds up to the reason why the audience enjoys Anderson's film so much. This all is brought to perfection in Grandhotel Budapest.

Through complex narrative framework, which itself is a mockery of all these films that are being narrated by someone and is also being an excuse for not being too realistic, we get to a story of a young lobby boy named Zero Moustafa and Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes)the concierge of the Grandhotel Budapest. Many of the female guests of the hotel mainly come to enjoy Gustave's company. When one of these ladies passes away, Gustave grabs Zero and boards a train for her mansion. Soon he's blamed for her murder and hunted by police led by Edward Norton and a grim-faced assassin played by Willem Dafoe. There also is a love story between two young teens - Zero and Agatha (Saoirse Ronan) who has a birthmark in the shape of Mexico.

I frankly don't understand how can this film be successful in the USA. This film is just so typically European, that I guess some aspects of the film Americans just aren't familiar with. Some of the humor reminded of old French, Italian and Czech comedies.

Wes Anderson remains to be a stand-out filmmaker who never disappoints with any of his creations and is a safe bet to rely on his qualities. You won't want to return to the real world when the credits start to roll.
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9/10
Wes Anderson's Best?
edgereviews14 March 2014
I would consider myself a Wes Anderson fan, however in saying that, I have only seen a handful of his movies. I was very excited for The Grand Budapest Hotel, because of its excellent cast, the fact it's directed by Wes Anderson and just by how unique it looked. After watching The Grand Budapest Hotel, I can confidently say that it's my new favourite Wes Anderson film, and probably his best.

As I was hoping, the story to The Grand Budapest Hotel is very original and unique, some may even say strange. And as the movie goes on, the story only gets wilder and wilder. The film is often very hilarious, with some seriously funny dark humour thrown in there as well. Characters are extremely well written, with the bond between Gustave and Zero being the backbone of the whole movie as it's so well written. The Grand Budapest Hotel features an odd narrative structure that works very well for the film, again adding to the uniqueness and freshness of it. I wasn't exactly sure how the story would play out, as I purposely avoided all promotional materiel so I would know as little as possible before watching. This was a great benefit to my viewing experience as I loved everything I saw, and felt as though nothing was spoiled from watching too many trailers.

I haven't been a huge fan of most of Ralph Fiennes' work since his phenomenal performance in 1993′s "Schindler's List", but this is easily his best performance since then. He proves he can do comedy just as well as he can do drama, providing a perfect balance of both. Newcomer Tony Revolori is excellent as well. I won't get into the whole supporting cast because there's so many who were all so great, but I was particularly impressed by Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law and Saoirse Ronan.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is definitely a Wes Anderson film, down to its very core. If you know his style, then you known what to expect, as this movie is full of it. Thankfully though, it's not a case of style over substance, with a great story to accompany the gorgeous visuals. The colour palette is beautiful; it's nice to see lot's of bright colours when so many other films are so dark and dreary. The set design and costumes are perfect, and there's so much attention to detail within the sets. The cinematography is phenomenal, and I really like how the film was presented in different aspect ratios.

You really can't go wrong with this film. It's probably Wes Anderson's best film, it has gorgeous visuals, excellent acting and a wonderful story. If you're a fan of Wes Anderson's previous work, you cannot miss this, and even if you're not a fan you should go and see it anyway.
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A Grand Adventure
corrosion-28 February 2014
Wes Anderson is one of the most original film makers working today. None of his films can be categorized into any particular genre. His latest, The Grand Budapest Hotel, which opened the Berlin Film Festival, continues that trend. It is a tale within a tale within another tale. Whilst every shot has been meticulously arranged as though a work of Art hanging in a museum, story wise Anderson has let his imagination run wild. Though the tale (with Tom Wilkinson as the author of the story) and the tale within the tale (with Jude Law as the young author & F Murray Abraham as the mysterious owner of THe Grand Budapest Hotel) have straightforward narratives, the tale within the tale within the tale, which comprises the bulk of the film and is set in the years preceding the Second World War, is a wild uproarious train ride of story telling. It also boasts the cast of a life time: Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson & countless cameos. It will delight Anderson fans but is more likely destined for Art house cinemas as it is too off center for mainstream audiences. The production design and music are outstanding and even the end credits are imaginatively done (and received another ovation from the audience).
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8/10
A brilliantly entertaining fantasy outing by Wes Anderson
bob-the-movie-man12 March 2014
The Grand Budapest Hotel is the latest from Wes Anderson, and what great fun it is. My review of Monuments Men pointed out that putting the likes of George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Bill Murray and Hugh Bonneville in the same film was no guarantee of a good film. Following that logic, what should we make of the following turning up together: Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murray, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Defoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Edward Norton, Tom Wilkinson, Saoirse Ronan, Owen Wilson and (a wonderfully made up) Tilda Swinton? The answer is a near masterpiece of cameos that add up to a highly entertaining and memorable film.

In a complex serious of flashbacks, Tom Wilkinson plays an author remembering his younger self (Jude Law) being recounted, a number of years before, the life story of The Grand Budapest's mysterious elderly guest Zero Moustafa, played by Abraham. (Are you still with me?) Featuring strongly in this life story, Ralph Fiennes plays hotel concierge and lothario Gustave H., seducer of his elderly and wealthy guests. He is supported in this role – for everything outside the bedroom that is – by trainee Bellboy, and Gustave's protégé, Zero (in the younger form of Tony Revolori).

Following the murder of one such guest (Tilda Swinton), Gustave is not surprised to feature strongly in her will, awarded a priceless Renaissance painting – Boy with Apple. This is much to the displeasure of her son Dimitri (Adrien Brody) and his evil henchman Jopling (Willem Defoe). What follows is a madcap pursuit across snowy landscapes, various grisly murders, a couple of civil wars, some disconnected fingers, a prison break and a downhill ski chase.

All the cast seem to enjoy themselves immensely, but it is the production design and cinematography that really shines through: every single shot of the film is just a joy to look at, from the bright pastel colours of some scenes to the oak-panelled finery of the elderly lady's mansion. Beautifully crafted, beautifully lit,beautifully costumed, beautifully filmed. Bringing a film out so early in the new Oscar-year must be risky: but one can only hope that the voting members have a long enough memory to recognise this movie in these sorts of categories.

There are some interesting crossovers to recent films: both 'The Book Thief' and 'The Monuments Men' were filmed – as this was – in Studio Babelsberg in Potsdam. No coincidence then that the steam train chugging through the East European countryside looked startlingly similar to that in the opening scenes of 'The Book Thief'; and if you have Bill Murray and Bob Balaban in town for Monuments Men, then why not stick them together for this film too? Simples! Alexandre Desplat turns up AGAIN with another quirky and fitting score.

All in all, if you like the quirky style of films of the likes of Moulin Rouge then you'll love this. Highly recommended.

(If you enjoyed this review, please check out my archive of other reviews and while there sign up to "Follow the Fad"! Thanks!).
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9/10
Funny, sweet, inventive and wonderfully acted
runamokprods15 August 2014
A wonderfully funny fable of the adventures of world's greatest hotel concierge (a brilliant, inventive and hilarious performance by Ralph Fiennes) and the friendship he strikes up with the hotel's new lobby boy (a strong debut by newcomer Tony Revolori).

The story goes in many unexpected directions, every one entertaining and eccentric, and the cast is full of first rate highly comic performances by F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, with terrific cameos by Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Jude Law and others I feel bad for forgetting here.

While not Anderson's most profound film, it may be his most joyful. I don't think I stopped smiling from first frame to last, and I laughed out loud quite a few times. And yet, as in any good fable, there is some real poignancy as well. A top notch marriage of a lovingly crafted art-film and a wacky human comedy, something rarely pulled off with such panache. Even my friends who don't enjoy Anderson's work in general had nothing but good things to say. The sweetest treat of the movie year so far.
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9/10
A hotel well worth revisiting more than once
TheLittleSongbird5 August 2016
That it was directed by Wes Anderson (who has a unique style that really fascinates, but admittedly not everybody will like or warm to his style) and that the cast is so stellar were reasons enough to see 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' in the first place, as well as its many accolades and critical acclaim.

While it isn't quite flawless, and it is easy to see why a number of people don't like or will not like it (due to a lot of the cast's roles being pretty short, only Gustave and Zero being fully fleshed out of the characters and those who have a problem with Anderson's style), 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' is a visually stunning, hugely entertaining, wonderfully weird and impeccably cast and acted film.

It really stuns visually, with cinematography that is not only clever in technique but also gorgeous in aesthetic and tight, fluid editing. The costumes, production design and hair and make-up richly deserved their Oscar/Academy Award wins, the costume and production design have a lusciously colourful fairy-tale feel while also given substance by the bleakly atmospheric quality that reflects the crime drama aspect of the story brilliantly.

Alexandre Desplat also received an Oscar, and with its hauntingly hypnotic and entrancing tones it richly deserved it as to me it was by far the best score of those nominated. Anderson directs superbly, the story balances darkness and quirkiness to great effect (the prison scene is unforgettable) and it's never too simplistic or convoluted (though of course the visuals, dialogue and performances make much more of an impact) and the screenplay is a sublime mixture of the dark, the quirky, the witty and the subtle delivered with rapid-fire.

'The Grand Budapest Hotel' boasts an impeccable cast and pretty much everybody does a splendid job, though many of the roles are short. My only criticism of the film is that Harvey Keitel and Saoirse Ronan are underused and just get lost amongst everything else, an unrecognisable Tilda Swinton also has little to do but still gives a bat-out-of-hell performance.

Bill Murray, F. Murray Abraham, Jeff Goldblum, Jason Schwartzman and Owen Wilson give very entertaining performances, while Edward Norton is delightfully droll and Adrien Brody and especially Willem Dafoe bring sinister foreboding to the film. Some may say that Tony Revolori is overshadowed by the more experienced cast members (being the only newcomer in a large cast of big names), but to me he more than holds his own and effectively plays it straight. The film belongs to Ralph Fiennes, in what is essentially the heart of the film, while he has always been a fine actor he has not given a performance this brilliant in years, never knew he could be so riotously funny.

In conclusion, a wonderful film and a hotel well worth revisiting more than once if to one's taste. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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8/10
Entertaining, slightly farcical, tale of dark deeds and friendship
Figgy66-915-59847021 March 2014
21 March 2014 Film of Choice at The Plaza Tonight - The Grand Budapest Hotel. I really had no idea what this film was about, having seen only one trailer which in the event, bore no relation to the plot whatsoever. However, my interest was piqued so this evening found me watching a splendid little film packed to the rafters with stars. This was the tale of Gustave H, the legendary and infamous Concierge of The Grand Budapest Hotel, a rather glamorous edifice perched atop a mountain and his protégé and most trusted friend Zero, The Lobby Boy. This is a tale of friendship, murder, revenge and deep dark plotting. There were some completely ridiculous moments which were quite refreshing and several, what I like to call Guffaw moments where several members of the audience emit a loud blast of laughter followed by slightly hysterical giggling that you find yourself joining in with. As I said a host of stars in this film ranging from Ralph Fiennes, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law and Bill Murray to Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson and Harvey Keitel to name a few, but one of the outstanding performances must go to Tony Revolori, a relatively unknown young actor who plays Zero, who is In almost every scene. An entertaining film, worth watching.
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8/10
Keep your hands off my lobby boy!
lastliberal-853-2537084 February 2015
The Grand Hotel Budapest is a zany, colorful and fascinating journey through old postcard Europe, such as only Hollywood can think of. With his old, almost square picture format Wes Anderson pays tribute to recent days, but with the whole movie. In addition to his brilliant humor and endearing characters, this film captures gems with seemingly small details and meticulous compositions. For me, now one of the funniest and most original movies of 2014.

The style is unique. You will either like it or you won't. There is no middle ground here.

With too many great actors to mention, they all gave outstanding performance that will keep you enchanted.
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9/10
"He retained the illusion with remarkable grace."
PadmeAgnes15 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
A former lobby boy, Zero Moustafaw tells a story to a writer, who tells this tale of a hotel, it's guests and the outstanding concierge Monsieur Gustav H to us. It's about (blind) loyalty, duty beyond the required, greed, stupidity, love for women in any age ... and the power of influence when treating persons with the grace of that person's beauty.

It's (black) comedy at its best. The ridiculous becomes brilliant through cleverly constructed dialog, impeccable executed timing and timbre change. Many camera shots are little art pieces like in Moonrise Kingdom, beautifully constructed with cuts that ad to the timing, visually. The production design takes you from the shabby to over-the-top kitsch to breath taking wooden interiors and mountains. The CGI reminds me of Monty Python, deliberately unrealistic which is part of the humor yet makes it at the same time oddly believable.

Never thought of Ralph Fiennes as a comedic actor. He convinced me here. Tony Revolori as young Zero Saoirse Ronan as Agatha are remarkable. And then there were: F. Murray Abraham, Jude Law, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Willem Defoe, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, Léa Seydoux, Harvey Keitel, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, (I think I saw George Cloony for 2 sec)... Just to be able to get all these heavy weights to sign up for minor roles, demands respect. To get them all set their mark in a few minutes, is awesome.

"He retained the illusion with remarkable grace." is one of the last lines in the movie. It describes both the main character and also the heart of the movie. This is a real 9 - beauty combined with dirt, great cinematography with dry jokes and art with silliness. If you like to be amazed, see something out of the ordinary, are able to go with a flow, you will LOVE this movie.
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6/10
For once I disagree with an IMDb consensus
marzolian8 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
It's gorgeous to look at, often witty, and has a few brilliant casting choices. But two thirds of the way through, the charm wore off.

It's not certain now exactly where it started to feel wrong. Maybe it was the nested story within a story within a story; maybe it was the way that the older Zero M. didn't match the appearance of the younger one (the eyes?) Maybe it was the unfortunate things that kept happening to M. Gustav, which were unexpected after seeing the trailers and poster. Maybe it was the shifting accents of the Americans in the cast; Jeff Goldblum started talking about "Mah-dem", then switched to "Mah-dahm". Maybe it was the that M. Gustave, who is usually quite aware of his surroundings and predicament, was sometimes clueless. When Bill Murray finally made his appearance, nothing special happened. Whatever it was or whenever it happened, it was disappointing.
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7/10
A funny thing happened to me on the way to the Grand Budapest Hotel
vincentlynch-moonoi4 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
After seeing the previews several times, I thought I would enjoy a delightful almost-fantasy-like film. But, at age 64, after going to the movies literally hundreds of times in my lifetime, I did something today that I've only ever done 3 times previously -- I walked out of a movie halfway through the picture. I didn't blame Wes Anderson, because clearly his films have a following...but I thought it must be an acquired taste...that I had not acquired. I admitted that it was a uniquely visually pleasing film, but I wondered why so many fine actors agreed to what were rather small parts. At the time I said that this film bored me even more than "Moonrise Kingdom".

The the other night it was on cable. I thought I would give it another try, but I fully expected to turn it off at home, also. Perhaps it helped that rather than watch it all in one setting, I broke it into roughly 30 minute segments with breaks in between. Guess what. This time I liked it. I'm not saying I loved it. But I did like it. What did I see this time that I didn't see before. Well, perhaps the tongue-in-cheek attitude of the film. The chance to see Ralph Finnes be downright silly instead of his typical dramatic role. The wonderful photography and special effects. The skill of young actor Tony Revolori. The pleasure of seeing F. Murray Abraham again. And, this time enjoying the many "cameo" shots.

I still think it dragged on a bit too long (at 100 minutes there are still a few small bits that could have been edited more tightly or even eliminated). And, I'm still not a raving fan of it. But, this time around I did "like" it. But it won't end up on my DVD shelf, and I doubt I'll watch it again. But, bravo...good (not great) job!
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10/10
Simply wonderful
zetes23 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
An extraordinary cinematic confection and probably Wes Anderson's greatest film. Ralph Fiennes plays the concierge at the Grand Budapest Hotel in the 1930s, which exists in a fictional European country in the Alpine range. He has a habit of keeping some of the old women who stay at the hotel company. When one (Tilda Swinton) leaves him the valuable painting Boy with Apple, Swinton's evil son (Adrien Brody) frames Fiennes for the murder. Fiennes' closest companion, the hotel lobby boy Zero (Tony Revolori), and his girlfriend (Saorsie Ronan) conspire to free Fiennes from prison and sell the painting for loads of money, hopefully enabling them to leave the country, which is being overtaken by fascists. The story isn't much more than fluff (though there is a nice tinge of poignancy), but it's enormously amusing fluff. The highly amusing trailer did give away many of the film's best gags, but this is a laugh a minute movie. The visuals are absolutely delightful. Sure, it's all nothing you haven't seen before from Anderson, but I found it his most perfect accomplishment. The film is loaded with great cameos and little roles (the woman behind me almost had an orgasm when Bill Murray appeared), but my favorite was Willem Dafoe as a toothless heavy.
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6/10
A quirky and visual feast which lacks substance and interesting characters.
johnnymurphy152 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Wes Anderson seems to be one of those Directors to look forward to as he has gained a reputation for his quirky eccentricity and stylish flair over the years. In his new film, 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' he tightly weaves together a crime caper that is sharp, witty and slick, but sadly lacks interesting characters.

I won't go too far in explaining the plot because a lot happens in the 1 hour and 40 minute running time. The narrative is rather complex as it is handed down from Tom Wilkinson who plays the author who hands the story to his younger self played by Jude Law, who then speaks to Mr Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham) who then tells Jude Law his times of when he got a job as a Lobby Boy at the Grand Budapest Hotel, working for the eccentric perfectionist M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes). We then move from the run down Hotel of that time to the 1930′s when the hotel was booming. We see the hotel in a wedding cake style aesthetic, where anyone who is anyone in the aristocratic world comes to stay, and alt of the time, sleep with Gustave. This includes elderly aristocrat Madame D (An unrecognisable Tilda Swinton). When Madame D dies, she leaves Gustave a priceless painting 'Boy with Apple', to the disgust of Madame D's greedy family, especially her conniving son Dimitri (Adrien Brody). This starts off a chain events which involve lawyers and hit men, an elaborate prison break, a secret society, a woman who hides things in her detailed cakes, and unspecified war and much more.

The film looks amazing. It adopts the aesthetic which has become the signature of Wes Anderson films. The perfect framing, the elaborate set design, the costumes matching the sets and all the quirkiness and eccentric deadpan humour to boot. Ralph Fiennes proves to be a fantastic comic lead. His sense of timing and delivery is perfect. Also, his character is very interesting as he initially comes across as a self serving eccentric, but as the film goes on, you realise he has a lot of good in him. Unfortunately, I felt he was the only interesting character in it. Many of the touted cameos which include Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Lea Seydoux, Harvey Keitel, Jeff Goldblum and Willem Dafoe play a small part in the plot, but a lot of them are underused. The talented Saoirse Ronan I felt was particularly underused. The intricate and complicated plot felt tiresome towards the end as so much takes place and the dialogue is so quick and sharp, that if you miss a line, you will miss a big part of the plot. It started to feel too cluttered as there were too many people in it and too much happening. It is still consistently funny and dazzling, but lacked emotional involvement that it felt slightly empty. I think personally, I still pine for Wes Anderson's more melancholic tones of 'The Royal Tenembaums' and 'Rushmore'. In those films, I cared more for the characters and enjoyed the visual and quirky style. I feel his films are drifting towards a more silly and farcical tone, which is fine, but in my opinion I don't feel it is for the better.

See my Film Review Blog - www.projectionistreview.wordpress.com
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5/10
Round & Round It Goes
cultfilmfreaksdotcom23 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Prepare to delve into yet another intentionally bizarre Wes Anderson rabbit hole, guided by no less than three narrators providing flashback upon flashback... And then, somewhere in there, an actual story begins…

Skipping to what's really important is Ralph Fiennes as M. Gustave, concierge of the neglected European GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL during the 1930's. He sleeps with spinsters and runs the place with an iron fist – more polished silver than heavy chrome. His young mentoring bus boy, Zero, the one narrating in the form of an aged F. Murray Abraham, sticks to his boss like gum while the duo, like the story, jumps all over the place…

Although a real plot is chiseled down from a horde of bantering dialogue when an extremely rich woman dies, bringing Gusave to an estate where he could inherit, to the chagrin of her nefarious son, a pricey painting. The first half ends with Gusave and Zero stealing the painting, and the intrigue builds nicely. Then something happens… Or perhaps, you can say, too much happens far too soon…

When Gusave is sent to prison, director Anderson abandons his quirky character-driven romp and throws several genre-devices into the pot, including a heavily planned old school prison escape and a ruthless hit man: The latter in the form of motorcycle riding Willem Dafoe, a cross between Steve McQueen and Al Pacino's muggy bodyguard in the second GODFATHER: Dafoe's mobile loon kills anyone connected to Gustave, including pets.

There are darkly humorous moments here and here, and always something to gander at, especially the picturesque locations resembling popups from an antique children's book… But with so much running around the central plot is all but forgotten, and Ralph Fienne's smug yet endearing gigolo gets lost in a mix of wasted detours and distracting star cameos (including Bill Murray, who could have been played by anyone)…

And last but not least, with the task of playing the true leading role, young actor Tony Revolori displays the perfect deadpan that befits hipster-friendly art-house fare, but alas, he's not that interesting or, in a movie full of mischievous devils, someone worth rooting for.
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7/10
The Plot Simply Doesn't Gel
cloud_nine14 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Interesting sets, beautifully locations, wooden characters. Too much of the story takes places in trains, a prison and the countryside. I really wish more of the plot had taken place in the hotel. Following a confusing beginning (there is a double flashback), the story took off without any real direction or reason. When the movie ended, many people in the audience applauded. My feeling was "that's it?" All the ingredients were there but the cake didn't rise.

Still, I'm not sorry I saw the movie. It was different and that's always refreshing in a time of cookie-cutter plots.

At one point I noticed that the movie was no longer being shown in widescreen but more of a television aspect ratio. Once the movie returned to 1985 or the present, it was widescreen. Weird.
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10/10
So so good.
Hobbsbert1325 March 2014
Loved it Loved it. Loved it. Beautiful, funny, smart, silly, sad, fantastical. I will probably see this movie at least a dozen more times in my lifetime. Can't wait.

Why is there a minimum of 10 lines required to make a review? Weird. Anyway...

Ralph Fiennes is wonderful. Could end up being a signature role for him and one that is remembered for some time - although I keep forgetting his character's name. That's a problem.

All the usual players show up and their all good to fantastic. Willem Defoe is especially fun. Adrian Brody might be the weakest featured player in the movie. He just doesn't quite seem to match up with the rest of what's going on. Same with Ed Norton, although he's less of a sore thumb. But they aren't problematic for the whole movie. Just very very minor distractions - for me, anyway.

I just loved it. So much!
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1/10
Grand Waste of a Stellar Cast
lyx-125 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Having been to a few of Wes Anderson's films, the twee, absurd caricature, dead-pan precious, lush, scenic, cardboard Tim Burton-esque cinematography that many insisted is synonymous with "intelligent humour" were all expected. What wasn't is the insufferable, sophomoric idiocy of the story, gratuitous characters and shallowness of the plot, the script, the character development, the entire purpose of the making of this film. What on earth is it suppose to say?! What deeper layers are there to uncover other than it being a madcap caper about promiscuous hotel staff carrying on with obscenely rich geriatrics, murderous villains and relatives, an outrageous and unbelievable jailbreak adventure? What is the point to this wedding cake indulgence of a film, exactly? And please don't sniff haughtily with a "You just don't get its brilliance/genius/subversion/provocation, blah..blah...blah...go watch a Tom Cruise flick!" retort. I honestly don't get much more from this film than its gruel thin plot.
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4/10
Was so looking forward to this. But sadly....
mcnlshn30 March 2014
I attended this film with my wife and an absolutely packed theatre of moviegoers. My wife fell asleep (literally) and about two hundred others around us sat in uninterrupted silence as a litany of dreary antics and pratfalls ensued. Truthfully, there were no more than a handful of audible giggles throughout the entire length of the film. Personally, I found it mildly humorous at best. One interesting aspect was watching the long list of cameo appearances by so many well-known names, while the story, within a story, within a story narration was mildly intriguing. The chase scene in the snow was insufferably long and cartoonish. Such a disappointment.
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5/10
Too pretentious and boring....
suws129 July 2014
The Grand Budapest Hotel is written and directed by Wes Anderson,starring Ralph Fiennes as a concierge who teams up with one of his employees to prove his innocence after he is framed for murder. This is the premise for the movie, but to watch it was boring. The movie is filmed as if you are watching a play inside a dollhouse, if that makes any sense. The so-called comedy is just pretentious and snob. Of course some people find that funny, but for me it didn't do it. The entire movie didn't do it... It could have been a wonderful adventure, but I found the manner and style it was conceived to be too boring and pointless. The acting is excellent and that saved the movie from being a complete waste of time. This definitely isn't a movie for the masses, and that being said, isn't a movie that an average movie goer will enjoy. For some that's a good thing maybe, but for me this wasn't entertaining. Be your own judge.
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2/10
Not up to my expectations
ergins6 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I am probably in a minority when I say that I didn't enjoy this movie, I wanted to like it, the idea seemed sound and the cast is a cavalcade of top notch actors.

I am still trying to work out what it was that made me dislike the film, maybe it was the simple fact that there was no plot to speak of, a tenuous vehicle to give the actors a chance to show their stuff. Admittedly the sets were grand (as the name implies), the production company went all out to create this world; and the acting was excellent but there is a problem here too.

The problem I found with the acting was that each member the ensemble cast didn't get a fair crack of the whip when it came to showing their stuff. Most of the actors/characters got just a few minutes of time (apart from the leads of course), I wanted more interplay between these actors, surely there was time for that rather than long rambling scenes of inane dialogue.

When the film ended I was left with a feeling of "so what", I didn't care about the outcome of any of the characters. I am sure that some people will enjoy this but I didn't.
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4/10
Same old Same old
Wes Anderson is undoubtedly one of the finest directors we have working today, and this is very much evident throughout the span of his latest film The Grand Budapest Hotel. His choice of adjusting the screen format, his color pallets and sleek cinematography are what save this movie from being a flop. Yes, it is great directing. Yes the performances, especially Ralph Fiennes, are top notch. This is a decent movie, but decent is where it stops. It doesn't have anything to separate itself from previous quirky and dark humor filled films that Wes Anderson has released, it doesn't have the heart from Moonrise Kingdom, the charisma of The Fantastic Mr. Fox, or the mystique from The Darjeeling Limited. Yes, every director may have their own styles and tweak it differently for each of their works, but Wes Anderson only adds some minor plot differences to his films to make them slightly "different," yet still far too similar. I have been fine with them in the past, but by The Grand Budapest Hotel, his fourth main entry, the goofy style becomes a little tedious and actually difficult to get through in some scenes. Many trivial things are presented as important matter in drawn out sequences, making it all the more difficult to watch. Yes, I am harshly bad mouthing this movie, but I did still find some enjoyment in watching the gorgeous film making and the once in while funny script, but come the third act, all the twists just become much too predictable, and ultimately unsatisfying. I hope Wes Anderson has something up his sleeve that can add variety into his collection, because my patience level for this is slowly declining. GRADE: C
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3/10
GRAND BUDAPEST is cute but nothing more
jlgAltman18 March 2014
Wes Anderson has great style and wit but THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL is one more effort from Anderson that is totally satisfied with being nothing more than cute. The film looks great, quite amazing in fact, but really is this trite exercise all that this talented filmmaker and cast can really accomplish? A little soul, an inkling of depth or insight would be nice. Anderson clearly has it in him to offer more. His earlier films all reached much further. But now the cute factor has taken over.

Ralph Fiennes totally scores though in a wonderful central role and Tilda Swinton who is in the film for about 5 minutes leaves a very lasting impression in more ways than one.
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1/10
The Emperor's New Clothes
taniabrook-295-52015531 March 2014
Having lost almost 2 hours of my life watching this pretentious, awkward, tedious,repetitive nonsense masquerading as a film, I felt an urgent need to warn my fellow movie goers of this stinker of a movie.

The Great Budapest Hotel is "in your face" director's overindulgence in experimenting. It lacks even pretense of trying to tell an entertaining story. Its caleidoscope of disjointed themes crawls, mostly sideways, with the dreadful quality of a nightmare.

One might fall into a trap of wishing to explore the latest "oeuvre" of a "cult" director/screenwriter. For those of you be warned, you'll need a strong motivation to sit through this indulgent mush of an experiment in viewers' goodwill.

The one star goes for some striking images which "do not a movie make".
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