Tuesday 25 March 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Bullseyes:  ④ (out of 5)

Wes Anderson movies are weird. Moonrise Kingdom was freaky.  The Royal Tenenbaums was wacky. I haven’t seen any more but I’m sure they’re all out there.

In The Grand Budapest Hotel the acting is so tongue in cheek it’s a wonder you can hear any dialogue.  The movie starts smartly kicking out of the blocks with a suspicious death, a disputed inheritance and a disgruntled family, and it never lets up.

Ralph Fiennes, or Ray Fiennes however you pronounce Lord Voldemorts name, has the Wes Anderson scripted deadpan down pat as he frolicks his way through the hotel lobby and up and down the Hungarian countryside in his efforts to evade the Munster faced family as they seek a bigger slice of the will.  

The best parts of the movie are the little moments of levity, brought to us by Fiennes mainly, but also a great supporting cast including the Lobby Boy bloke, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel and Edward Norton. There are so many memorable characters in this farce you almost lose track, but somehow Wes Anderson has a way of illuminating a new face in an instant. When William Dafoe sneers and snaps on his black gloves over his skull-embossed brass knuckles we know right away who he is - no boring back story or dialogue is required. 

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