The Grand Budapest Hotel


Greetings – it’s good to be back!  After my third PC in the past half-dozen years went to meet its maker (Bill Gates???), I decided to order an Apple Mac.  Let’s hope this one lasts long enough to justify its price tag!

At any rate, on to the movie…

The Gand Budapest Hotel (2014) is a gem of a movie!  Within a single week I saw it twice.

This movie is the epitome of silly.  In fact, these folks take their silliness very seriously!

It’s somewhat difficult to describe the humor in this film.  I can say that the first time I saw it, I was laughing all the way home from the theater. Then laughing on my way to work the following day.  Then, about a week later, still laughing (ok, chuckling) on my way to work once again.  At that moment, I knew a single viewing wasn’t enough.  (In fact, I might catch it a third time when it comes ’round to the “cheap shows”.)

The movie stars Ralph Feinnes a role I suspect he was born to play:  M. Gustave, concierge extraordinaire of the Grand Budapest Hotel.

It seems Mr. Gustave believes in going all-out to service the guests.  Even when they’re octogenarians and they want more than just the run-of-the mill room service.  (Ok, stop chundering yer lunches – they don’t show anything…!)

As luck would have it, one of these octogenarian (who was particularly rich) happened to die and leave our M. Gustave quite a lot – which didn’t sit well with her conniving family.

Not that doesn’t sound like much, I’ll admit.  The magic of this film lies in the way they tell their story.

The dialogue is sharp as a finely honed straight-razor, and Feinnes’ timing would make a Swiss watch envious.  Also, there’s just enough fantasy thrown in to make the absurdities of what these characters do seem perfectly normal.  Outdoor scenery is obviously drawn; people’s movements seem just a little too fast and jerky; and the characters are … well … insane – in the best possible way.

I won’t go into the myriad of vignettes offered in this film or spoil any of the exquisitely subtle-yet-hysterical dialogue.  I wouldn’t dream of it.  I can tell you that the humor in this film likely isn’t for everyone.  If, for example, you thought Something about Mary or Kingpin were side-splitters, then you might want to take a pass.  If, on the other hand, you found yourself (as I did) aching from laughing so hard at masterpieces such as The Lavender Hill Mob or The Importance of Being Earnest – or found that too-short-lived television series Pushing Daisies to be both funny and charming, then run-don’t-walk to a theater (or better still, drive).

As I’ve already mentioned, I’ve seen it twice already – so the best advice I can offer you is:  See it!  See it!


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