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Review: “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is a complex hit

"The Grand Budapest Hotel" has been nominated for 9 Oscars.  The film is an in depth magical-reality produced in the form of storytelling. Photo: Oscars.
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” has been nominated for nine Oscars, including Best Picture. The film is an in-depth magical-reality produced in the form of storytelling. Photo courtesy of American Empirical Pictures.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is a complex, densely packed intellectual comedy worthy of the Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.

The film is a story within a story set at the world-renowned Grand Budapest Hotel in which the concierge, Zero (Tony Revolori), teams up with a higher level employee, Monsieur Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes), to prove Gustave’s innocence after he is accused of murdering a former, wealthy lover.

Parts of the plot were based on Stefan Zweig’s novels “Beware of Pity” and “The Post-Office Girl” and tied together by critically acclaimed director Wes Anderson.

Actor Ralph Fiennes, who plays Gustave, is well known for his role as Lord Voldemort in the “Harry Potter” series. His role as Gustave shows his growth as an actor toward more high-brow productions. Fiennes’ performance is fascinating, especially because it is uncommon for a main character to be as outrageous as his is in “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

Director and producer Wes Anderson, who recently directed “Moonrise Kingdom” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” created a majestic setting in European Alpine State, and the bold colors of the hotel brought about feelings of fantasy and magic. The score by Alexandre Desplat contributed to the otherworldly setting and fantastical elegance of The Grand Budapest Hotel. All aspects of the film, setting, score, acting and writing contributed to create the mystical Grand Budapest Hotel.

While watching the movie, I found myself replaying parts of the film as I was easily confused by the plethora of characters with facial hair and accents, as well as the many jumps in time.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” has it all: romance, drama, humor, mystery and action. The film is in the style of magical-realism, so while it is still a believable tale, it includes all the flamboyant fun of a fantasy. The humor at some points is witty and highbrow, yet at other times is slapstick as a character got their finger cut off or fell down a flight of stairs.

While I highly recommend “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” it is not the type of movie I’d suggest for a mind-numbing night of television as watching the film requires attention to the plot details.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is nominated for is nominated for nine Academy Awards: Best Picture, Cinematography, Costume Design, Directing, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Music (Original Score), Production Design and Writing (Original Screenplay).

“The Grand Budapest Hotel”

1 hour, 40 minutes

Rated R for language, some sexual content, and violence

Directed by Wes Anderson

Starring Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori

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Mary McNamara, Author

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