The Grand Budapest Hotel
Last year, my friends and I headed over to the matinee showing of a new movie at the Cinemark Theatre. We had watched the trailers and were curious as to what the story was about. My friends and I were hooked within the first ten minutes of the film. I shared my review of the movie with Go Jane News and now I’m happy to share my review of The Grand Budapest Hotel here on my blog. Did it live up to my expectations?
The story takes place in the fictional Republic of Zubroska, an alpine state. The author stays at the Grand Budapest Hotel during the late 1960’s. Suffering from writer’s block an author (Jude Law) hopes a vacation will help to spur the juices of creativity. The hotel, which was once a gem among the elite, is now rundown and faded due to war and poverty.
He meets the hotel’s elderly owner Zero Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham). Interested in the history of the hotel and curious as to why the owner is unwilling to close the hotel, Law’s character makes plans with Zero for dinner.
The movie pulls us deeper into the story starting in 1932 when the young Zero, played deliciously by Tony Revolori, is working as a bell hop under the guidance of the hotel’s concierge, Monsieur Gustave H. The hotel is in its prosperous and glory days and the rooms are all booked by wealthy people, who are ignoring the upcoming war.
Monsieur Gustave (Ralph Fiennes), takes Zero under his wing and teaches him everything about the hotel business. When not attending to the needs of the clientele, Gustave is seducing the elderly women, all who just happen to be blond and rich.
So good at pleasing these women, they only come to the Grand Budapest for him. Madame D played by Tilda Swinton formed such a close bond that she promised to leave him a valuable painting called, Boy with Apple. When Madame D is found dead under mysterious conditions a few days later, the plot turns up the heat.
As Gustave and Zero stop by Madame D’s mansion to pay their respects, they encounter Madame D’s son, Dmitri (Adrien Brody), who will do everything in his power to keep all of his mother’s wealth, even murder.
When Gustave and Zero steal the picture we are treated the escapades of both Gustave and Zero as they are hunted down by Dmitri’s paid assassin played devilishly by William Dafoe.
The acting is superb. The story is as tasty as the deserts made by Zero’s sweetheart, Agatha (Saoirse Ronan.) The imagery of the Grand Budapest Hotel with its beauty and ambiance tugs at your heart and makes you want to book a room for the chance to live in pure decadence.
Side note: When I was very young and I’m going back to the late 1940’s and early 50’s, my mother, grandmother with my three siblings and me would spend a few weeks every year at the Jersey Shore. We stayed at this grand hotel on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, which may have been the Traymore.
I remember the bell hops and how everyone dressed up in their Sunday clothes for dinner.
If you have similar memories, watching the Grand Budapest Hotel will transport you back to those times down the shore. Get it on Netflix or watch it on cable when it shows and let me know if you love it as much as I do.