Top 365 Films – #181 – The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Top 365 Films - The Grand Budapest HotelDIRECTED BY: Wes Anderson

STARRING: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Adrien Brody, Willem Defoe, Jeff Goldblum, Saoirse Ronan, Edward Norton, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Léa Seydoux, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Bob Balaban, Giselda Volodi, Waris Ahluwalia, Neal Huff, Lisa Kreuzer, Florian Lukas, Karl Markovics, Larry Pine, Daniel Steiner, Fisher Stevens and Wallace Wolodarsky

BUDGET: $30m

EARNED (Worldwide): $174.6m

AWARDS: 4 Oscars (Best Costume Design, Best Makeup/Hair, Best Original Score and Best Production Design), 1 Golden Globe (Best Film Comedy/Musical) and 5 BAFTAs (Best Original Score, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Makeup/Hair and Best Original Screenplay)



The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous hotel from the fictional Republic of Zubrowka between the first and second World Wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.


The Grand Budapest Hotel tells the story of an author paying a visit to a luxurious hotel in 1968, which is located in the European mountainous country formerly known as Zubrowka. The hotel appears to have fallen on hard times and the author meets with the current owner, M. Zero Moustafa, who recounts the story of how he became the hotel’s owner and why he keeps it open, with his story beginning in 1932 when the hotel was in its golden era and Zero was a lobby boy under the guidance of M. Gustave H. and how the story revolves around a painting called ‘Boy with Apple’.


Contrary to popular belief amongst my friends I haven’t seen 90% of films out there and up until late last year I never caught a Wes Anderson film (I know, boo! Hiss!) and The Grand Budapest Hotel was the film that I broke my Anderson cherry on and I must say I absolutely adored this film. The film does a great job balancing a fine line between being a quirky film immersed in an almost fantastical art house environment, with beautiful set designs and absolutely wonderful dialogue, though with plenty of long monologues here and there, you’re captivated on every word. The direction is great and it helps that the film has plenty of colourful characters such as lobby boy Zero Moustafa (played well by Tony Revolori and F. Murray Abraham), Dmitri Desgoffe und Taxis (played by a very villainous with crazy hair Adrien Brody),  J.G. Jopling (played by an ever good Willem Defoe),  Agatha (played by Saoirse Ronan) and of course the highlight is Gustave H (played fantastically by Ralph Fiennes).



FAVOURITE SCENE: Gustave and Zero travel to a mountaintop monaster where they meet with Serge, the only person who can clear Gustave’s name. I Ralph Fiennes hilarious in this scene as Serge speaks of his turmoil due to this events and he clearly doesn’t care yet makes an attempt to do so in order to find out how to get his name cleared, which inevitability leads to a face-off against Jopling.


FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘M. Gustave: She was dynamite in the sack, by the way.

Zero: …She was 84, Monsieur Gustave.

M. Gustave: Mmm, I’ve had older.’

DID YOU KNOW?: According to Wes Anderson, the whole cast stayed in the same hotel–Hotel Börse in Görlitz–during the film’s principal photography. He insisted on all make-up and costume fittings happen in the hotel lobby to speed up filming. The owner of Hotel Börse appears in the film as an extra working on the front desk of the Grand Budapest Hotel, and after filming finished for the day the crew would often return to find him at the front desk of their own hotel.

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