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The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel, Movie

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a unique, splendid film you won’t want to miss. And you should see it on the big screen since it’s a visual delight.

I don’t like giving lots away, so I’m going to talk about it without talking about it.

First, watching it is refreshing to the eyes – the vibrant colors, the clever combination of reality and fantasy backdrops, and the European classic architecture.

Next is the writing. It’s not canned like most films. Many of the lines feel like poetry, rolling off the tongue and fun to say, for example, “lobby boy.” “Get your hands off my lobby boy!” The film is based on the writings of Stefan Zweig, a prominent German writer from the 1920s and 1930s. The screenplay was written and directed by Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums). Movies that are well-adapted from books or the writings of a good writer, are usually that, good. Often movies that have the same writer and director are also solid – a clean unified vision. I may go see this movie again, just for the writing, as it’s playful, intelligent, and original. You could have closed your eyes and still enjoyed this movie.

Then we should consider the acting…what a cast! Ralph Fiennes, William Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Jude Law, Saoirse Ronan (Hannah, The Lovely Bones), Owen Wilson, Harvey Keitel, Tom Wilkinson, F. Murray (Scarface), and a few other substantial actors.

Ralph Fiennes’ character carries the story with charm and likeability, despite his unusual, saucy romps and relationships with older women. At one point he tells his lobby boy:

“She was dynamite in the sack, of course.”

“She was 85…?”

“I’ve had older. When you’re young it’s all filet mignon, but as you get older you have to take some of the cheaper cuts. I quite like them, though, more flavorful.”

Ralph delivers this with his charming accent and while wearing a crisp tailored suit…so somehow he pulls it off…like he does all the fun escapades in the film.

This isn’t a cheap blockbuster that’s full of massive explosions and a miniature storyline; nor is it a scary movie that frightens you with cheap jumpy camera angles and a contrived story.

It is a true artistic work that enchants the heart, stirs the intellect, and makes you wish you could have stepped inside The Grand Budapest Hotel, even if for a single night.

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