The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous hotel from the fictional Republic of Zubrowka between the first and second World Wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.
The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.
Helena Bonham Carter
GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune -- all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent. Written by
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Vilmos Kovacs' Hungarian name is pronounced according to English spelling, but in fact it should be pronounced "Vilmosh Kovaach". See more »
It is an extremely common mistake. People think the writer's imagination is always at work, that he's constantly inventing an endless supply of incidents and episodes; that he simply dreams up his stories out of thin air. In point of fact, the opposite is true. Once the public knows you're a writer, they bring the characters and events to you. And as long as you maintain your ability to look, and to carefully listen, these stories will continue to...
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Balalaika music plays and stylized drawings of balalaikas appear with the end credits until 1:38:53. The screen goes to black, the music pauses, and a lively little Russian dancer (animation) side-steps in at the bottom right corner. The balalaika music resumes, and he dances a traditional Russian dance to the music while the music credits roll: "The Ludmila Zykina State Academic Russian National Balalaika Ensemble", "Orchestre de Balalaikas Saint-Georges", "Musicians", "London Voices Choir", "Music Department", and finally a list of music: The Linden Tree, S'Rothie-Zaurli, Svetit Mesvats, Kamarinskaya, Concerto for Lute and Plucked Strings I. Moderato. He dances for about 56 seconds, all the way through to the ending copyright statement. See more »
Can a film be absurd, funny, exciting, violent and colourful at the same time? Yes. 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' combines all those elements. And I didn't even mention the most important characteristic: it is visually wonderful.
In this film, director Wes Anderson creates his own universe, full of colourful characters, old-world charm and witty one-liners. The nice thing about creating your own universe is that you can make it look perfect. Every shot, every little detail and every set is flawless. From lead character Gustave H.'s purple jacket to the title of the newspaper announcing the war (The Trans-Alpine Yodel) - Anderson has given thought and attention to everything.
The story is not very important, because it is merely a vehicle for the stunning visuals, the dark humour and the rapid-fire dialogue. It's all about a hotel concierge, Gustave H., who is being chased by various villains for stealing a painting. All this is set against the backdrop of the Nazis invading Central Europe (although in Anderson's fantasy world they are not called Nazis of course). Some of the scenes are very funny, but there is always a darker tone because of the looming war. Anderson doesn't shy away from extreme violence, but he shows it in an offbeat and almost comical manner.
My favourite scene, in which it all comes together, shows concierges in hotels all over Europe, calling each other to help Gustave H. Each of them is shown in his hotel (with a wonderful fantasy name off course), busy doing some important job like tasting the soup or giving first aid to an unconscious hotel guest, when he is being called away to the telephone. Each hands the job over to his assistant, and answers the phone. This fast succession of little scenes is done so perfectly, it's a great joy to watch.
Ralph Fiennes steals the show as the sophisticated Gustave H., who never despairs, even in the most unfavourable circumstances. He is supported by a large number of star actors, who are sometimes almost unrecognizable. Because of the amount of support actors, some of them are a bit underused. Tilda Swinton gets rather little screen time, as does Harvey Keitel.
The film moves forward at a breakneck speed. You have to be very alert in order not to miss something. The plot is not always very easy to follow, and the dialogue is fast. And there are the great camera angles and the wonderful detailed sets to pay attention to. I think by seeing the film a second time you can discover lots of things you didn't notice the first time.
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