This is a reprint of my review which
was first published on this blog in April 2014, with a number of minor revisions. My original review can be found here.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (UK/ Germany, 2014)
Directed by Wes Anderson
Starring Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Adrian Brody, Willem Dafoe
When I reviewed Moonrise Kingdom more than two years ago, I complained that it was hard to form strong emotional bonds with the characters because the entire film felt overly choreographed. While Wes Anderson's brilliance as a cinematic craftsman was never really in any doubt, it all felt a little too tightly controlled to pass muster as a genuinely heartwarming story about young love and free spirits.
Amadeus employed a similar device of its main character recounting the story in his old age. But while this device is affectionate, it is not entirely necessary to the story being told, and your enjoyment therein will depend on whether you regard it as an apt demonstration of passion or a needless indulgence.
Willem Dafoe as a thug in knuckle-dusters, or Jeff Goldblum as a stuffy, by-the-book lawyer (who ends up losing his fingers). But it is a pleasant surprise to see Adrian Brody as the villain of the piece, or Tilda Swinton as Gustave's elderly lover whose death sets off the entire caper.
The Man Who Knew Too Much.
For more on Willem Dafoe, check out my WhatCulture! article on his best and worst performances here.
NEXT REVIEW: Super Size Me (2004)