The Grand Budapest Hotel, besides being a much more serious film than we’re used to seeing from director Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou), makes many a direct play for the hearts of Central and East Europeans.
With its mixture of exquisite period detail, albeit slightly exaggerated, overt references to historical turning points in the region and a typically “Wesandersonian” presentation of his story as visibly but immersively fictional, the film is almost certain to be well received both in the Czech Republic and around the world.
A very different kettle of fish compared with his other films, this is perhaps Wes Anderson’s most subdued film to date, but he deftly handles the balance between the comical and the dramatic, yielding a work of beauty, comedy and mystery that is every bit as enchanting, funny and ultimately moving as some of his best films.
In 1985, an elderly gentleman looks straight into the camera and starts telling us a story that takes us back, first to 1968, and then to 1932, as the rise and fall of the Grand Budapest Hotel, a luxurious establishment somewhere in the Republic of Zubrowka, is displayed in all its alternately decrepit and extravagant excess.
To read the full review, visit The Prague Post. The Grand Budapest Hotel is shown in Bulgaria as part of the Sofia International Film Festival. For show times and locations, visit the festival’s website.
(Still of Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Tony Revolori and Paul Schlase in The Grand Budapest Hotel. © 2013 – Fox Searchlight)