Movie of the Week: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

A fantastically fun film designed to entertain both new-comers to the Wes Anderson universe and long time fans.

Directed by: Wes Anderson

Genre: Comedy/Drama

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Saoirse Ronan and a rack load of other stars!

Special shout out to: Tilda Swinton! Barely recognised her. Thats some good make-up.

Wes Anderson is a bit of a mad one. His films are instantly recognisable, even if he is not, and they always have a slightly strange fantastical-ness to them. Sometimes this fantastical feature is a bit wacky, topped with the ridiculous; at other times, it’s slightly confusing and to be honest, down right weird. But you can’t deny that he can entertain. He hit a home run with Fantastic Mr Fox, a stop-motion masterpiece based on the children’s story by Roald Dahl, and in my opinion he has come even further with Budapest Hotel.

As always there are two words that come to mind when you hear the name Wes Anderson; production design. The Grand Budapest Hotel is no exception. Spanning over five decades, we see interiors that echo orange and brown 70’s retro, capture the quaint ruralness of tiny Europe and accentuate the grandeur of opulent hotels. The real scene stealer in this particular instalment though is the landscapes. Giving a very obvious nod and a wink to the great Georges Méliès, the grand exteriors of snow covered mountain ranges which are the backdrop for the hotel itself are like miniature paper models with tiny little figures moving within them, as if part of a beautifully classic shadow puppet show. Production designer Adam Stockhausen and Irish based graphic designer Annie Atkins really out did themselves on this one. Don’t forget to check out the exhibition of props on display in the Lighthouse Cinema running until the 24th of March (deets below!)

Above all, this film is just fun. A fast-paced caper which brings together traditional British-esque comedy seen in old shows like the “Carry-On” series and Fawlty Towers, and surreal French cinema all wrapped up with a unique Wes Anderson bow! Ralph Fiennes steals the show as Monsieur Gustave, the Grand Budapest’s extremely-but-not-too-flamboyant womanising concierge along with side-kick lobby boy Zero, played by the relatively new-comer Tony Revolori. As always it features an extensive cast of amazing actors, some of which include Edward Norton as a (not) Nazi officer and Willem Dafoe as a pretty terrifying henchman. Without giving too much else away just go see it. Even if you are not traditionally a Wes Anderson fan, go see it and make your own mind up.

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fg5iWmQjwk 

Grand Budapest Hotel Exhibition: http://www.lighthousecinema.ie/newsarticle.php?sec=NEWS&_aid=3185&PHPSESSID=d8a5lqsntf25c35r6bbnhfsls2 

Trigger warnings: sexual references, some violence, death of a family member.

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