By Brent Davidson
6th April 2014

I often find myself daydreaming. I’ve read a study that this is good for your mind, but when I chuckle to myself at something that has only happened in my mind, I get nothing but strange looks and a call to explain the laughter. Trying to describe a daydream simply makes people look at me and think I’ve a few screws loose - but it's this feeling of trying to explain a daydream that makes 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' such a charming film.

Following the adventures of Monsieur Gustave, the concierge of The Grand Budapest Hotel, as he woos his older clientele, is placed in their will, and set upon by their murderous family, all while escaping the Nazis with the help of his sidekick and lobby boy Zero Moustafa (I told you it was like describing a daydream).


Ralph Fiennes steals the star-studded show as Gustave, the hotel concierge with delusions of grandeur. Having never seen Fiennes in such a strong comedic role, it is a wonder he hasn’t starred in a film like this before – a credit to director Wes Anderson's casting. While he may use the same ensemble of actors for a host of his movies, their ability cannot be flawed, with Billy Murray, Tilda Swinton (who is unrecognisable in her role), Edward Norton, Adrien Brodie, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jason Schwartzman, Jude Law and Harvey Keitel – to name a few. Child acting is always a very hit-and-miss affair, but the children in ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ are equally as superb as their adult counterparts – especially Tony Revolori as Zero.

Ralph Fiennes steals the star-studded show as Gustave, the hotel concierge with delusions of grandeur.

There is a definite nod to the action adventure films of yesteryear – a fantastical and unbelievable plot, a witty and just as unbelievable script, and highly stylised acting and design – that makes it feel like we are being let in on a secret film, long hidden in a vault from scrutinising eyes. The cinematography and design are immaculate and flawless, never letting you forget exactly what you are watching (or how fantastical it is).

A daydream worth revisiting, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is another Wes Anderson masterpiece: deftly directed, immensely funny and utterly wicked, and will no doubt have the audiences on the edge of their seats – if not falling off them.

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