Keepin’ it Reel: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Visiting the Wonderful World of Wes Anderson

By Jesse Merchant /// Staff Writer

The Grand Budapest Hotel” (2014) chronicles the adventures (and adventures they are) of the concierge and lobby boy of a once fantastical European hotel. The dedicated concierge, played by Ralph Fiennes, woos women just by attentively serving them, servicing them, etc. etc. His trusted companion, the lobby boy, played by Tony Revolori, is always by his side. The two tend to the immediate affairs of the hotel’s customers, until the untimely death of one of its richest clients. When the client leaves him the painting “Boy with Apple,” her children throw a fit. The concierge must flee as the possibility of homicide becomes prevalent. The lobby boy joins him, and they go from city to city, in and out of jail. They find friendship in the midst of danger, and love in the midst of wars.

A friend complained to me that the film seemed like too much of a composite of his previous films, but I would argue that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There’s the symmetrical mise-en-scene we’ve been presented with since “Bottle Rocket” (1996), the attention grabbing color-scheme from “The Royal Tenenbaums” (2001), the quick banter from “The Darjeeling Limited” (2007), the two-dimensional, tongue-in-cheek scenery present in “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (2009) and the thrill of two friends seeking refuge from “Moonrise Kingdom” (2012).

Despite his ever-increasing fame, Wes Anderson manages to hold onto the visually arresting aesthetics and quirky sense of whim that penetrates every film he makes, including this one. I highly recommend it for film fanatics, and those new to the ways of the directorial god that is Wes Anderson. I guarantee you: every shot is eye candy, and every line tastes sweet. It is simply unforgivable to refuse the opportunity to live an Anderson life for a couple of hours. Go see the film. I promise you won’t regret it.


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