Ralph Fiennes Delivers as Concierge in Droll Wes Anderson Dramedy

 

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Film Review by Kam Williams

Ralph Fiennes Delivers as Concierge in Droll Wes Anderson Dramedy

Wes Anderson films are sui generis, one of a kind affairs as easy to identify as, say, a Thelonious Monk piano solo or a Frank Sinatra vocal. You can spot one of his works by watching just a snippet of celluloid.

postfull-check-out-the-brand-new-poster-for-the-grand-budapest-hotel-poster_2_blog_detAnderson’s latest offering, The Grand Budapest Hotel, not only stays true to his vibrant visuals and tongue-in-cheek narrative style but rates right up there with the best of the bunch, including Rushmore, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Darjeeling Limited which was this critic’s pick as the #1 film of 2007.

Ralph Fiennes seems perfectly cast to play the picture’s protagonist, and he is ably assisted in that endeavor by a dramatis personae comprised of an abundance of Anderson alumni, including Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, George Clooney, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Bob Balaban, Harvey Keitel, Waris Ahluwalia and Scott Rudin.

The droll dramedy is set in 1932 in the fictional Eastern European nation of Zubrowka which is where we find unctuous concierge Monsieur Gustave (Fiennes) playing his trade at the eponymous titular establishment. There, he lavishes his attention and affections on vulnerable ladies, provided they’re rich, blonde, elderly and needy. Narrating the blow-by-blow is Gustave’s game protégé, Zero (Tony Revolori), a loyal, lowly “Lobby Boy” learning the tricks of the trade.

Just past the point of departure, we learn that one of the hotel’s guests, Madame D. (Swinton), has just died mysteriously. A swarm of relatives, close and distant, show up for the reading of the wealthy widow’s will by her attorney (Brody), each hoping for a sizable chunk of the estate.

However, it turns out that the dearly departed left “Boy with Apple,” the only valuable painting in her entire art collection to the gigolo Gustave. So, when an autopsy reveals that Madam was poisoned with strychnine, he is summarily arrested and charged with murder.

It’s no long before he hatches an elaborate jailbreak with the help of Zero, and soon the chase is on, with the heirs, the authorities, a hired assassin (Dafoe), and even Nazis in hot pursuit, as Gustave desperately attempts to clear his badly-besmirched name so he can hold onto the priceless portrait.

A sublime whodunit designed for cinephiles with sophisticated palates.

 

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for profanity, sexuality and violence

Running time: 100 minutes

Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures

 

 

,

Real Estate

meteoric rise, money, mortgage rates, politics, Federal Reserve, interest rate, adjustable-rate mortgage, economy

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been … [Read More...]

More Posts from this Category

Travel

Smithsonian, historical battles, Mount Rushmore, Gettysburg, Statue of Liberty, Memorials, Monuments, America

Vacation Locations: Knowledge is Fun Too!

  Vacation Locations: Knowledge is Fun Too! by Amy Lignor   Most children (and adults, too) will either roll their eyes or sigh when, while speaking about … [Read More...]

More Posts from this Category

Entertainment

Girls Trip, Chicago, Malcolm Lee, Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish,Jada Pinkett Smith

Bawdy Road Romp Opens as #1 Comedy at the Box Office

  Girls Trip Hits Chicago! by Kam Williams Bawdy Road Romp Opens as #1 Comedy at the Box Office Universal Pictures' Girls Trip made a spectacular debut on its opening … [Read More...]

More Posts from this Category