“The Grand Budapest Hotel” in review

Wes Anderson’s potential indie classic to show at Woodland Theater

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” in review

Story by Austin Mai, Staff Writer

Last summer I watched the film “Moonrise Kingdom” and my appreciation grew for director Wes Anderson. Both that film and “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” another film Anderson directed, were unique because of how comfortable the dialogue was and how meticulous Anderson is when shooting.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which Anderson also directed, not only shattered my expectations but joined the list of my favorite movies.

Like I expected, the camera angles were strict and the dialogue was excellent, but the social undertones of the film moved me.

Without diving too deep into the plot, the film is a fun story about the adventures of a legendary concierge at a famous hotel in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka in the ‘30s. The concierge, played by Ralph Fiennes (M. Gustave), falls into fortune, but repercussions follow as him and his lobby boy played by Tony Revolori (Zero) try to manage the aftermath and the hotel.

The film takes place between the first and second world wars, and the Republic of Zubrowka is still militarized. In a scene where Gustave and Zero are on a train, soldiers board and demand to see identification papers from both people. Gustave has papers but Zero, an immigrant, does not. As the soldiers begin to get rough with Zero, Gustave defends him and a fight breaks out.

In an era when racism was socially acceptable, it was very telling that Gustave would defend Zero based solely on his character and work as a lobby boy.

The relationship between Gustave and Zero develops throughout the movie as the roles slightly change from mentor and mentee to trusted friends.

As a comedy, I found the movie funny, but I expect others may not find humor where I did. Gustave almost constantly does something outside of the box, and his unorthodox methods create a fun watch.

For the 100-minute length, I think Anderson did a good job compacting a good amount of plot into the time frame. However, this movie is the kind that if you lose focus or don’t pay attention for even a minute, there’s a good chance you have missed information pertinent to the story.

I give this film an A- because of the high level of character and plot development. Along with those reasons, whenever a movie has me thinking or feeling at the end, it’s a good movie.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is set to be shown at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Woodland Theater in Davies Center.