The Grand Budapest Hotel

Film Review by Sam Lewis | 20 Feb 2014
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
Film title: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Director: Wes Anderson
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton, Jude Law, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray
Release date: 7 Mar
Certificate: 15

Wes Anderson’s films often dwell on worlds within worlds: grand houses, fox dens, submarines. So it seems appropriate that he should turn his delicate gaze to a hotel: the ultimate embodiment of secret worlds in public spaces. Inspired by the writings of Stefan Zweig, the story unfolds like a Russian doll, told in the first instance by an author (Law), interviewing Zero Mustafa, a one-time lobby boy and now proprietor of the crumbling titular establishment.

Ralph Fiennes’ Gustave H was the previous owner, whose inheritance of a priceless painting sets the shaggy dog story in motion. More surprising is the subject matter: behind the predictably whimsical yarn of a hotel concierge on the run lies a darker tale of pre-war Europe, a land of intrigue, disease, love and bubbling violence. Tilda Swinton makes a brief appearance as wealthy dowager Madame D., the name perhaps a nod to Max Ophüls’ The Earrings of Madame de..., a similarly stately and moving story of a world of finery on the edge of extinction. [Sam Lewis]

Release 7 Mat by 20th Century Fox