Movie Review: “Grand Budapest Hotel”

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A true gem with an ensemble cast to die for, many of whom are costumed and made up with such consummate skill that only the most eagle-eyed viewers may spot them ahead of the closing credits.

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Just when you thought Ralph Fiennes had thrown his career away on Voldemort, Edward Norton on the Incredible Hulk or Jeff Goldblum on Jurassic Park and Independence Day, we have a quietly produced yet lavishly conceived smorgasbord of talented actors, doing what they do best: portray characters so convincingly written and acted that you forget they aren’t real.

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And the ensemble includes many who are not celestial names in the entertainment skies.  Relative newcomers share the frame with more experienced hands and everybody carries their own weight with deftness and veracity.

Jeff Goldbloom Grand Budapest Hotel

A story about a formerly glorious Eurasian boutique resort hotel now on hard times, the narrative gives each cast member his or her chance to shine in a seamless story that sweeps the audience along with seemingly no effort at all.

Edward Norton Grand Budapest Hotel

At turns intriguing, exciting, amusing and surprising; the film is a particularly perfect vehicle for Fiennes, quite possibly the role he was most aptly born to play.  Anchored at the center of the action, his character’s quiet experience, his jaded worldview and his take on the aristocratic classes and their foibles is right on target: never broad beyond belief or comical to the point of distracting from the business at hand.
Another long one (almost 2.3 hours) but in this case you’d be just as happy if the writers and director Wes Anderson had been able to pack in even an extra 30 minutes.

(A most enthusiastic 5 out of 5 stars.)

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About jaypochapin

Married adult human male, father, brother, son, writer, voiceover actor and humorist. Frequently funny, sometimes snarky, occasionally profound. Beatles, Stones, Who, Python, Firesign Theatre, Shakespeare, Bogart/Bacall, Marx Brothers, Alice Cooper and more besides. Have worked as many things: traffic reporter, disc jockey, newscaster, interviewer, producer, copywriter, voice over talent, teacher, emcee, housekeeper, janitor, uniformed security officer, bagel baker's assistant and more, but don't let the uniform fool you, baby! I ... AM ... THE WRITER!

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