The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson , 2014)

What's it about? A new lobby boy at the titular hotel in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka is taken under the wing of dandy concierge M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes). Murder, theft, prison, war, cakes and OAP sex ensues.

Is it any good? Listen! I've got a FANTASTIC idea for this review. I'm going to write this review like a TripAdvisor entry. Because it's a review of a hotel, see? Won't that be the cleverest thing, like, ever!! Oh, excuse me just a minute *reads note handed him by lawyers*. Oh. Seems that's been done. On the TripAdvisor website itself, no less. Well, now that I think about it, it's not that clever. Bloody hipsters.

Anyhow, the film delivers everything we have come to expect from a Wes Anderson movie; a cleverly constructed, beautifully framed and shot film, with quirky sensibilities, some great sight gags and a host of cameos from actors on his Rolodex (Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel, Jeff Goldblum, Tilda Swinton, to name but a few). What we might not have expected is a very funny performance from Fiennes, whose comic timing and deadpan delivery is impeccable throughout. He is really terrific, as he barrels breathlessly through the energetic and consistently amusing screwball plot, which brings to mind a those great pre-war comedies from the likes of Ernst Lubitsch. It does all finish a bit abruptly and it isn't as charming as Anderson's previous Moonrise Kingdom, plus it's content to be a frothy confection, rather than a deeper, more satirical film. But no matter, it's still great fun and it's a film that shows there are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric blockbuster-driven world that was once known as cinema. Indeed that's what it provides in its own modest, humble, insignificant.......oh, fuck it. I have to go, someone threw my cat out the window.

Anything else I should know? Well, I supppose you'll be wanting to see that TripAdvisor page now. You can find it here. Elsewhere, you can read about how Austrian writer Stefan Zweig inspired Anderson to make the film.

What does the Fonz think? The Fantastic Mr Gustave.

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