The Grand Budapest Hotel

Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Tony Revolori

The otherworldly Moonrise Kingdom now seems delightfully grounded compared to Wes Anderson’s latest treasure trove of nothingness. It depicts the glory days of the Grand Budapest Hotel in the fictional European country of Zubrowka. The main part of the story takes place in the 1930s when the country is at the brink of war and the hotel’s resourceful concierge Gustave H is framed for murder. As always, Anderson’s film is wonderfully designed and shot, which qualifies this as a well-polished turd. His fast-paced comedy is excruciatingly flippant and unbearably whimsical, and filled with oh-so quirky characters who deliver beautifully eloquent lines which amount to nothing. The cast is incredible but their performances are 99% about the Oscar-winning costumes, make-up and facial hair. Even Alexandre Desplat’s soundtrack is annoyingly chirpy. I didn’t care for one second and didn’t laugh once. The story was inspired by the writings of Stefan Zweig and the titular locale was clearly influenced by Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain.