The boyfriend is a big fan of Wes Anderson films, and so we spent the afternoon watching the Grand Budapest Hotel snuggled up on the sofa. I’m not usually a fan, but this film was an exception. It’s a story within a story, starting in the 80s with an older man who is the author of a book with the same title, who describes his meeting as a younger man with Mr. Moustafa, the owner of the Grand Budapest in the 60s. Mr. Moustafa tells the story of how he came to own the hotel, and takes you back to the 30s, where the Hotel was famous for the concierge, Gustave H and Mr Moustafa was simply Zero, the Lobby Boy.
I guess the film is part mystery part comedy, with the plot following the events after one elderly customer’s death, upon which she leaves the famous ‘Boy with Apple’ painting to Gustave, much to the grievance of her greedy and faintly terrifying family. Gustave promptly steals it, and what follows is a few grisly murders, several motorbike/ ski/ sled chases, a prison break, a secret organisation of concierges and a cat out of the window.
Ralph Fiennes is brilliant as Gustave H, oozing charm and sophistication alongside perfect comic timing and some wonderfully imaginative swearing, and there are so many other famous faces in it that pull off their short appearances very well. It’s still a little ‘Wes Anderson odd’ but the mixture of comedy, darkness, and superb sets makes it worth watching. Although a glass of wine with it definitely helps.
“There are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity… He was one of them. What more is there to say?”