Grand Budapest Hotel, The (2014)

Director: Wes Anderson
Writers: Stefan Zweig (inspired by the writings of), Wes Anderson (screenplay/story),  Hugo Guinness (story)

Stars: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Tony Revolori, Edward Norton, Jude Law, Saoirse Ronan, Jeff Goldblum

Running Time:  100 mins.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a marvelous fantasy of visual delight in form, color, framing, cinematography and production design, all within a time span covering 1985, 1968 and the 1930s.  Numerous actors fill its ranks in cameo appearances, some of which include Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Fisher Stevens, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Harvey Keitel, Bob Balaban, Tom Wilkinson, Willem Dafoe, Mathieu Amalric.  

This grand movie recounts the tales of Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes), a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lowly lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.  Zero is played by two actors, F. Murray Abraham, the old man relating the story of his life to a young writer (Jude Law) and by the much younger Tony Revolori living his adventures with Gustav.   Tom Wilkinson portrays the writer in his later years as he opens the film.  And so it goes throughout the story – flash forwards with flashbacks – all making wonderful sense as to how the lowly lobby boy came to be the owner of The Grand Budapest Hotel.

The story involves the battle for the enormous family fortune after the mysterious death of  Madame D. played by Tilda Swinton with enough old age makeup to make her unrecognizable and the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting against the back-drop of a dramatically changing Continent.  

There are murders, adventures and escapes through palatial buildings, a horrid prison and snowy landscapes via trains, motorbikes, skis, ski lifts, on foot and in taxis.  

Lotta says The Grand Budapest Hotel is a magical fantasy decked out o a “T”.