A story about a Lobby Boy, a Concierge, a Painting, a Murder and a Love Story in a Hotel

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Movies of Wes Anderson are extraordinary in their own way, since I first saw ‘Rushmore’ many years ago at an open air festival in Vienna I knew this is not only different from an optical point of view, there is much more to discover. Over the years Wes Anderson exceeded the expectations of the viewer, from ‘Rushmore’, his first full feature film, ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ to ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’, later being his masterpiece until now. Personally, I love ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ the most, not only because it’s an amazing piece of art, the puppets and the voice actors are great but also because he treated the story by Roald Dahl amazingly well.

Back to the actual movie, the story of the movie ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ which hit cinemas in March this year starts in the present, seeing a little girl carrying a book in a cemetery in front of a grave of the author. She begins to read the first chapter and we see the author telling how he resided in the late 60s as a guest at the hotel, just because he enjoyed the quiet atmosphere. It can be seen that it’s height is over, the interior looks quite worn out and only a few guests arrive at the hotel each year. One evening the author is surprised to meet the owner of the hotel, a famous hungarian millionaire. They start a conversation and the the author gets offered to hear the whole story about how the millionaire received the hotel.

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From this point onwards we go back some years in the past where the now millionaire started at the Grand Budapest Hotel as a Lobby Boy. We see him working hard and earning the trust of the devoted and trustworthy concierge with the name Gustave who does everything to make the stay of the guests, especially the ladies, no matter the age very comfortable.  One of those ladies dies and leaves him an expensive painting. The whole family, especially her son is shocked and here starts the hunt after the possible murder, the painting, the money and the truth. This is entertaining action-comedy at its best, filled with comical pictures, strange characters and one chase after another. The escape from the prison, the search for the truth which lead to a monastery in the mountains, a sledge chase which would have made Willy Bogner proud and a shooting in the hotel, they were all wonderful directed and played.

Dmitri: [about M. Gustave] This man is a ruthless adventurer and a con artist who preys on mentally feeble, sick old ladies! And he probably fucks them, too!
M. Gustave: I go to bed with all my friends.
[Dmitri punches M. Gustave, Zero punches Dmitri, Jopling punches Zero]

This movie is dedicated to the works of Stefan Zweig and according to Wes Anderson very much inspired by some of his stories. Me, having read and still love “Die Schachnovelle” can say that this movie really captures moments and characters created by Stefan Zweig.

After Darjeeling Limited and Moonrise Kingdom we see Wes Anderson completely back to its height and former quality. As usual we see quite famous actors like Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jason Schartzmann, Jude Law, Tilda Swinton and also a wonderfully surprising Harvey Keitel playing a half-naked tattooed prisoner. Wes Anderson, like Woody Allen is one of those directors and writers who seem to have the luck of writing quite unusual characters and finding the fitting actors.

This movie made me very happy, loved the story, the scenery, the music and the characters a lot. Everything worked well and I am very keen on his next project, hopefully it will be entertaining at least.

Mr. Moustafa: 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?

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