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The Grand Budapest Hotel
BLU-RAY disk
07.01.2014 By: Paul Shirey
The Grand Budapest Hotel order download
Director:
Wes Anderson

Actors:
Ralph Fiennes
F. Murray Abraham
Jude Law
Saoirse Ronan
Willem Dafoe
Jeff Goldblum
Harvey Keitel
Bill Murray
Edward Norton
Tilda Swinton

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
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.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
No doubt youíve heard the praise showered upon Wes Andersonís THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL and if youíve seen it you may well agree. If you havenít there could easily be some doubt about the high praise as it can sound like fans of Anderson tossing love out for the sake of it being an Anderson film. However, Iím happy to report that itís both a great film on its own and a great film in Andersonís resume to boot. You donít have to be a fan of the director to love it, but if you already are then you likely will. If youíre averse to Andersonís style then it likely wonít sway you to his corner, but for all others itís a welcome treat and what feels like his most mature work to date.

Focusing on a fictional hotel in Europe, The Grand Budapest, the film follows the exploits of renowned concierge Gustave H, played brilliantly by Ralph Fiennes, and his Bellboy, Zero Moustafa, played by Tony Revolori, as they form a friendship while traversing war, prison, love, and a host of interesting, odd, and scary characters. Itís the usual bag for Andersonís films, which never leaves you wanting for individual standouts; there are plenty to be found here with a bevy of excellent guest stars, including Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Jude Law, F. Murray Abraham, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, and Harvey Keitel (amongst others), all of whom play against their usual grain for this outing.

Fiennes is the whole show here. His Gustave H. is enigmatic, sharp, witty, and downright hilarious, while still showing a deep humility in his deeds and actions. Itís his best role in years and one that makes the most use of his abilities as an actor. The supporting cast, including Willem Dafoe as an unscrupulous character who does plenty of ďdirty workĒ throughout, Adrian Brody as a greedy heir, Saoirse Ronan as the love interest of Zero, and Jeff Goldblum as an all-business estate executor, are a great lot throughout. Brody is particularly hilarious and menacing, reminding us once again how shamefully underutilized he is in Hollywood.

The cast being great is no real surprise, though, as thatís the throughline for most of Andersonís films. The story is a surprise, though, as itís an intricate, clever, and layered one that begins and ends with a strong panache. In many ways, the film reminded me of a Tarantino film as directed by Anderson, which is a pretty damn cool set up if you ask me. And I mean that in many ways; from the profanity, violence, and time-jumping storyline, thereís a lot of similarities there and Anderson handles it deftly. Itís part caper, part love story, and part tale of friendship, but as a whole works perfectly as a finely tuned comedy with true heart and character.

I donít see how you could not feel completely satiated after watching THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL. It is, quite simply, an exceptionally made film with a number of great small performances from the supporting cast and an awards-worthy performance from Fiennes. While heralding all the benchmarks of Andersonís previous works, the film stands as step forward in his repertoire, managing to balance the darker moments with the lithe tone weíre used to and creating a wholly engrossing experience altogether. Youíll definitely want to check in and stay for a few viewings.
THE EXTRAS
While not at "Criterion Collection" level, there are an assortment of standard and cool features to make the disc more than bare bones.

Bill Murray Tours The Town: A short featurette that has star Bill Murray walking around the German town that the movie was filmed with his usual humorous antics.

Vignettes:

- Kunstmuseum Zubrowka Lecture: Tom Wilkinson's character gives a historical lecture on the time period and growth of the fictional European country that the hotel resides.

- The Society of Crossed Keys: An intricate look at what the Society is, how it was founded, and some of it's "key events" that it helped to influence throughout Zubrowka's history

- Mendl's Secret Recipe: Watch (and follow along) as the recipe for the famous pastry used in the film is created from scratch!

Promotional Features: The Making of The Grand Budapest Hotel - Standard featurettes that take you behind the scenes of the film with cast and crew interviews and on location behind-the-scenes footage of the production of the film.

- Part 1: The Story

- Part 2: The Society of Crossed Keys

- Part 3: Creating The Hotel

- Part 4: Creating The World

- Cast: Delves into the large and diverse cast of the film.

- Wes Anderson: Looks at the director's methods and style in crafting the film.

Stills Gallery: A cool collection of photos that highlight the various props from the film, from hotel keys, postcards, passports, art, and more.

Theatrical Trailer
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Whether you're a die-hard Wes Anderson fan or not, THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL is well worth checking out. It's expertly crafted and full of a rich, diverse cast that shines no matter how small their part. It features Ralph Fiennes finest performance in years and a gracefully layered story that is part caper, part mystery, part comedy, and chock full of bittersweet heart. You may be sick of people praising it so highly (including me), but it's one of those films that lives up to the hype.
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6:49AM on 07/02/2014
This film, as Gustaf would probably have said, is simply delightful. I really want to see all the extras and behind the scenes of this one. Fiennes must get an Oscar for this role.
This film, as Gustaf would probably have said, is simply delightful. I really want to see all the extras and behind the scenes of this one. Fiennes must get an Oscar for this role.
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+1
2:07AM on 07/02/2014

I give this 5 Mendels out of 5

This is a fantastic movie. The story is wonderful, the cast endearing and as always Andersons touch is of a master. Fiennes as Gustav and Revolori work wonderfully well together, and reminded me of how good Fiennes can be. Do yourself a favour and see this movie. You'll be engrossed and immersed in the world of Wes.
This is a fantastic movie. The story is wonderful, the cast endearing and as always Andersons touch is of a master. Fiennes as Gustav and Revolori work wonderfully well together, and reminded me of how good Fiennes can be. Do yourself a favour and see this movie. You'll be engrossed and immersed in the world of Wes.
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11:53PM on 07/01/2014
I loved this movie. I feel like Anderson is getting better. Moonrise Kingdom and Grand Budapest Hotel are great films that top his previous classics.
I loved this movie. I feel like Anderson is getting better. Moonrise Kingdom and Grand Budapest Hotel are great films that top his previous classics.
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