An elderly gentleman recounts the tale of how he came to own the venerable but now unfashionable Grand Budapest Hotel.
Wes Anderson’s films have never quite clicked with me in the past; I have always found them visually attractive yet rather contrived and pretentious. In The Grand Budapest Hotel however, I have finally come – at least in part – to realise the appeal. It has a palpable sense of nostalgia for a bygone era of elegance and splendour combined with a polite civility and quiet courage which is reflected both in the lavish sets and likeable array of kooky characters. The star-studded cast is like a Hollywood who’s who, but it is Ralph Fiennes who steals the show and once again shows his considerable talent for comedy. The combination of theatrical sets and lighting with animation gives the film a “vintage” quality and it has a charm and sense of fun that I personally found to be missing from his previous efforts, and that is quite reminiscent of the films of Jean Jeunet.
A little slight perhaps, but still a rather enjoyable post-modern fairy tale.