Apr 14, 2014 Film & TV
The Grand Budapest Hotel takes place in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka, situated somewhere high up in the alps of a 1930s Europe on the brink of collapse. The threat of war is background stuff, lurking menacingly at the hotel door. The main tale concerns the last will and testament of a wrinkly Tilda Swinton, who is swiftly dispatched early on (a shame!), sparking a lively caper as her family members seek an important painting that she left to saucy, hands-on Grand Budapest Hotel concierge, Mr Gustave.
Ralph Fiennes turns out to be a comedic whiz as Mr Gustave, and the film makes a rising star of newcomer Tony Revolori as Fiennes’ faithful lobby boy, Zero. It’s all perfectly magical, yet the folk at The Grand Budapest Hotel feel emotionally just a little out of reach. But that’s Anderson’s bittersweet charm, I guess. He’s a glass half-empty kinda guy; there’s always a drop of dark red blood on the powder-blue carpet.