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177 of 187 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A multi-layered masterpiece.
Witty, funny, clever and engaging, and yet with an undercurrent of tragedy and loss that is achingly poignant in places. This film tells the story of the unlikely friendship between a young Lobby Boy and his mentor, the hotel concierge, played to perfection by Ralph Fiennes as Monsieur Gustav H. The story is told in multiple flashback from the present (?) to the 1930's,...
Published 8 months ago by Dr Nick

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Style to substance ratio 10:1
An enjoyable slice of whimsy, lacking in any real depth beneath the sheen, which pretty much describes all Wes Anderson's films. A lot of things are forgiven for the production design, which is absolutely mindblowing. Unfortunately, the things you have to forgive are a lot of Jude Law (why, why, why?!) and virtually no Bill Murray (why, why, why?). Any sane person would...
Published 2 months ago by scubapig


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177 of 187 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A multi-layered masterpiece., 20 July 2014
By 
Dr Nick (Camborne, Cornwall) - See all my reviews
Witty, funny, clever and engaging, and yet with an undercurrent of tragedy and loss that is achingly poignant in places. This film tells the story of the unlikely friendship between a young Lobby Boy and his mentor, the hotel concierge, played to perfection by Ralph Fiennes as Monsieur Gustav H. The story is told in multiple flashback from the present (?) to the 1930's, like peeling back the layers of an onion and centres on the story of his induction into the Grand Hotel Budapest as told by an aged Zero (the Lobby Boy) to an author in the late 1960's. He recounts his adventures with M. Gustav during the early 1930's, in a fictional eastern European republic, when the Grand Hotel, still clinging to a ghost of its turn-of-the Century heyday, is run by the almost bi-polar M. Gustav (poetry-reading Victorian prim one second, swearing like a trooper the next) who likes to see to his lady guests 'every' need, no matter how old they are.

Murder, mayhem, mystery and prison ensue, with a host of marvellous supporting actors, while M.Gustav, ably assisted by Zero, remains unflappable and downright funny to boot. Despite all the comedy, there is no fairy-tale ending. The spectre of 1930's dictatorships and war hovers at the edges of the story and the sadness and loss, not just of friends and loved ones, but of a whole way of life and 'how it used to be' in the words of the aged Zero, is palpable and very touching without detracting at all from the comedy that went before it.

A great film with great actors, that works on so many levels. Definitely one to buy and watch again.
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129 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most amusing farce!, 21 Jun. 2014
By 
Lola (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
For all the times I watch mediocre attempts at comedy, I am rewarded with films such as this, "The Grand Budapest Hotel", which is not only visually stunning, it is also the most amusing comedy farce!

Ah Wes Anderson, his films overflow with elaborate detail and occur in their own enchanting world. "The Grand Budapest Hotel" is my new classic - it is a wedding cake of a film, it is filled with eccentrics and lunatics and oddballs. It looks delightful, it is delicious!

The film also reminded me why I once fell in love with Ralph Fiennes - he shines in the rare comic role as M. Gustave, a concierge who brilliantly survives between gentlemen and criminals, whose language is a mix of politeness and filth and high poetry and swearing. Yes, his poetry never leaves him, even when M. Gustave finds himself in the middle of murder investigation of a rich woman (the loyal guest of the hotel and his lover, one of many) who (potentially) bequeathed all her property to him. At M. Gustave's side is his loyal apprentice, Zero (and I applaud the newcomer Toni Revolori and his moustache-drawing skills!), and what M. Gustave would do without him!

"The Grand Budapest Hotel" is a winning whimsical comedy with star appearances of Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray (the moustache!), Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton etc. etc. It challenges your sense of humour - and I dare you not to love it! It's a celebration. Perhaps of a time and age long gone.
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96 of 107 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Grand Budapest Hotel and Stefan Zweig, 21 April 2014
By 
Robin Friedman (Washington, D.C. United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Grand Budapest Hotel [DVD] (DVD)
Writers and concierges are at the center of director Wes Anderson's nostalgic film, "The Grand Budapest Hotel". Most of the film is set an a large, pink facaded, luxurious hotel, the Grand Budapest, on mountain peaks in a fictitious European country, Zubrowka, during the years leading up to WW II. When the film opens, the hotel has fallen upon hard times with only lonely writers and intellectuals as patrons in a quest for solitude. One of the hotel's few patrons, a visiting novelist, strikes up a conversation with a mysterious individual who proves to be the hotel owner and a long yarn unfolds. The film features three generations of concierges, the young man on duty when the story begins, the primary character and the concierge during the time of most of the story, Monsieur Gustav H, (Ralph Fiennes), and his young refuge protégé and eventual owner of the Grand Budapest, Zero Moustapha (Tony Revolon as a boy, F. Murray Abraham as an elderly man).

The plot is a mixture of action and mayhem. Gustave H. is a suave successful concierge who manages to bed many of the elderly dowagers staying at the hotel. When one of these women dies under suspicious circumstances, she leaves Gustave a near-priceless painting while her family tries to frame Gustave for the murder. Gustave and Zero become fast friends and allies and try to protect and clear themselves. In the meanwhile, shadows of war cross Europe and the Grand Budapest Hotel.

The fast-paced plot has its light elements similar to the pastry concoctions which contribute a great deal to it. It has a distinctly nostalgic feel for a Europe which, as one character remarks, had already essentially disappeared at the time the action took place. The impending war is never far from the action in this movie, with storm troopers, death squads, and soldiers intervening and forming the course of the story at critical points. The film was shot in Germany and the staging and visual effects are lovely and the acting, particularly by the Fiennes highly in character for the time and place.

The end credits indicate that the film is based loosely on the life and work of the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig (1881 -- 1942) Zweig was a thoroughly assimilated nonreligious Jew whose writings were highly popular before and during WW II. Beginning in 1933, Zweig travelled throughout the world on an Austrian passport. He never could quite bring himself to believe that the elegant, cosmopolitan world he loved had vanished. With the outbreak of WW II, a depressed broken Zweig ultimately settled in Brazil where he and his wife committed suicide in 1942.

An article by the French writer Anka Mahlstein in the May 8, 2014, New York Review of Books, discusses the revival of interest in Stefan Zweig as shown by a new biography and by "The Grand Budapest Hotel". Mahlstein sees Gustave H. (rather that the writer who narrates the film) as the Zweig-influenced character with what she aptly describes as "a trim little paintbrush mustache, shifty eyes and a supple grace to all his movements, comfortable mastery of all languages, a certain latitude in his sexual tastes, and an overall sense of calm broken here and there by glimmers of disquiet." As did Zweig, Gustave H. in the film falls victim to the end of a refined, elegant secure and learned culture. The fun and mayhem in the film has deeper hues and a strong sense of loss.

The film is a pleasure to see. It becomes more than a work of entertainment and glitz when seen in the context of the life of Stefan Zweig.

Robin Friedman
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, 14 Dec. 2014
By 
Jet Lagged - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Grand Budapest Hotel [DVD] (DVD)
A riot. Funny, sad, original, quirky, brilliant, intelligent, unusual, charming and most entertaining. A lament to the decline of sophistication and the rise of military barbarism. This is the cultural world that Stefan Zweig saw disappearing into the twilight.

Fiennes, in his role as Gustave H, the hotel master concierge, excels in the lead role in a film that was tailor made for his acting talents.

The movie was not shot in Budapest itself. (I would not describe Budapest as even remotely alpine, no more than London is.) The location was in the obscure East German town of Görlitz, lying on the border with Poland. The Grand Budapest Hotel is actually the Görlitzer Warenhaus, a stylish 1913 Art Nouveau department store in the city centre. A few films have been shot in Görlitz over the past few years. So much so that locals have begun calling the town "Gorliwood".

The extras on the DVD are worth looking at too. One of them features, in engrossing detail, the making of the pastry that appears in the film. The three-tiered "Courtesan au Chocolat" (!), a calorific sugar nightmare, consisting of three profiteroles, bursting with chocolate and cream.

A highly recommended movie.

Amazon Update 13th January 2015:-

The Grand Budapest Hotel has just won a Golden Globe award for best motion picture (comedy or musical).

Another Amazon Update 16th January 2015. The Grand Budapest Hotel has been Oscar nominated for Best Picture 2015.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Style to substance ratio 10:1, 24 Jan. 2015
An enjoyable slice of whimsy, lacking in any real depth beneath the sheen, which pretty much describes all Wes Anderson's films. A lot of things are forgiven for the production design, which is absolutely mindblowing. Unfortunately, the things you have to forgive are a lot of Jude Law (why, why, why?!) and virtually no Bill Murray (why, why, why?). Any sane person would want to swap that screen time around. Actually, just get rid of Jude Law altogether.

I'm probably going to buy this just to see it on a big, newly purchased LCD telly, 'cos it'll look pretty, but I think that's not really a good reason to buy a film. Actually, maybe I won't.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Did he just throw my cat out of the window?....., 11 Nov. 2014
Gustav, the concierge at a hotel situated in the Alps, becomes the centre of suspicion when one of his institution's oldest and richest patrons turns up dead, and she leaves him her most priceless work of art, a Renaissance painting of a boy with an apple.

Furious that she left nothing of value to anyone else, the woman's greedy heir uses all manner of underhanded tactics to pin her death on Gustav, and to silence anyone who questions his objectives.

This leaves Gustav's trusted lobby boy Zero to clear Gustav's name and prove that the grand lady's killer is none other than her own son......

There's so much to say about this film that's already been said, but, I've never really been a fan of Anderson's work up until this. The Life Aquatic was okay, but I found the rest of his work very overrated and a bit of an ordeal to get through.

Saying that, after seeing this, I am going to go back and see if I missed something, because this movie is something else, the flow of the narrative is simply sublime, and with so many great performances, it would have been easy for some of the cast to get lost in the mix, but wow, everyone holds their own in this, and Fiennes, wow, he's a comedy genius.

But watching the film really does remind you of cake, especially the scenes filmed in the titular hotel, it's as if Anderson has sought inspiration from the actual cakes that Gustav brings back to the hotel.

Its a solid movie, very witty, richly narrated, and the cinematography is beautiful.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth Watching, 6 Feb. 2015
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Grand Budapest Hotel [DVD] (DVD)
We all know that some films are good, some are bad, and others you feel completely indifferent about. But at times something comes along that is just that extra bit special and makes you sit up and take notice, The Grand Budapest Hotel being one of these special films. With larger than life characters, a story that is slightly unreal and wonderfully set, this is a film to be relished rather than just watched whilst having a nibble.

Ralph Fiennes as M. Gustave is in magnificent form as the concierge of the magnificent Grand Budapest Hotel. As he finds that a new lobby boy, Zero, has been employed, he takes him under his wing and teaches him the ropes. But this is 1932 in an Eastern European country, and things start to change with the world and its leaders. When Gustave is accused of murder this starts to swing into a slightly screwball tale of imprisonment, escape and proving your innocence. Both funny and thoughtful this conjures up the world at a certain time in history, namely that before and throughout two World Wars, and the coming of an even newer Communistic leadership.

Told with aplomb this is a story that will more than keep your attention, with great acting throughout, and a very entertaining storyline. Dedicated to Stefan Zweig this is a wonderful tribute in some ways, and how he described the world that he lived in with all its problems. It has to be admitted that Ralph Fiennes steals this film with the role of Gustave, a man well connected, of dubious sexuality, and also being able to act the perfect gentleman and servant.

This DVD does come with subtitles as well as a few extras. If you want to know how to make one of those little confections from Mendl’s you will find the recipe in these extras, as well as some featurettes, etc. In all this is really a wonderful film that I should think will end up on your favourites list.
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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films of 2014, 25 April 2014
This review is from: The Grand Budapest Hotel [DVD] (DVD)
I've been a huge Wes Anderson fan for a while now, and his films carry with them a very unique and instantly recognisable styling that just seems to work fantastically well. The Grand Budapest is probably his best yet, with a thoroughly fun and quirky story line that is funny, delightful and sad. Some people say his styling is an acquired taste, but I believe that if you can open your mind to any kind of fantastical storytelling, then you'll truly appreciate this film.

10/10.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. You'll never have seen anything quite like this., 19 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: The Grand Budapest Hotel [DVD] (DVD)
Brilliantly imaginative and funny, this a bizarre cross between Hollywood screwball comedy and Eastern European film making that somehow works. One of Ralph Fiennes' best ever performances, ably supported by relative newcomer Tony Revlori, Adrian Brody (terrific) and a stellar list of stars in cameo performances. This is an original, hugely entertaining delight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confection of a vanished world, 20 Feb. 2015
By 
technoguy "jack" (Rugby) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Wes Anderson knows how to serve up a soufflé of delight,like a manic pixie who's run amuck in a weird rationalist universe full of crazy people.In his latest offering he develops the Eastern European world of Zubrowka between the two wars, set in a famous European hotel,run by the legendary concierge, Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), who does everything with pin-point precision,and caters to his clientele of elderly, wealthy ladies,with great charm and aplomb.They all fall in love with him and usually have sex. Gustave services his clientele's needs like he's keeping 10 plates all spinning in the air.His most trusted friend is Zero Mostafa(Tony Revelori), a refugee and lobby boy, who takes notes and imbibes the lessons of his mentor.He is attracted to Agatha (Saorirse Ronan),who works in the patisserie,

Everybody we encounter appears extremely eloquent,explaining the workings of the narrative as they go along.We are introduced to the story by an older writer,who goes back to his younger self(Jude Law).The film is dedicated to another writer,Stefan Zweig,using a frame and flashback structure like his. This central European writer wrote of a charmed universe,whose progress and comforts seemed unassailable.But already,this Europe was being invaded by fascism, the rise of the Nazis,then later derailed by war.Zweig became an émigré casualty.Anderson has gathered together an ensemble cast ofleading Hollywood actors,who all play a cameo role in a screwball comedy: Norton,Schwartzman,Brody,Wilson,Dafoe,Murray,Abraham,Keitel,Goldblum ,Swinton,Amalric.Anderson depicts a vanished world sustained by grace, a fairytale vision of a cosmopolitan world. Fiennes walks the line between courtliness and vulgarity,displaying a gift for comic timing never before seen. The convoluted plot comes second to the thrill and ingenuity of the ride.

M.Gustav is on the run with his teenage lobby-boy sidekick Zero after inheriting a priceless painting from `friend' Madame D(Swinton),who has been bumped off by her greedy son Dimitri(Brody).Aided by his henchman (Dafoe) and a band of Nazi soldiers(led by Norton).This is a co-written original script and together with set and costume design and musical score(tremendously zippy) are all up with a good chance at the Oscars.Many people may find this film too high in confected cutesiness, but the WWII backdrop brings a new dimension of tragedy. There is also an element of film noir in the murder of Kovacs(Goldblum) by Dimitri in the galleries of a museum. The film has been storyboarded meticulously, the screenplay has great wit and charm,the pace industriously planned, the scenarios opulently infused with artifice,Anderson has marshalled the power of an ensemble cast,pulling off a magnificent feat of artistry.
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The Grand Budapest Hotel [DVD]
The Grand Budapest Hotel [DVD] by Wes Anderson (DVD - 2014)
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