Grand Budapest Hotel - reviews of Wes Anderson's new comedy

Mar 7, 2014

Critics are calling Wes Anderson's new film starring Ralph Fiennes, stylish, deadpan and 'wonderful'

What you need to know

Wes Anderson's new comedy-drama, Grand Budapest Hotel opens in UK cinemas today. Director and co-writer Anderson is best known for his Oscar-nominated films The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom and The Fantastic Mr Fox.

Grand Budapest Hotel stars Ralph Fiennes as the concierge of a luxury hotel in the fictional Eastern European Republic of Zubrowka who is framed for the murder of a wealthy guest who favoured him in her will. He teams up with the lobby boy and embarks on an odyssey to prove his innocence.

What the critics like

Here is "another meticulously stylish and deadpan Wes Anderson movie that walks the fine line between masterpiece and folly", says Damon Wise in Empire. It's a rich and characterful farce that brings to mind the early Pink Panther movies with Fiennes echoing Peter Sellers's bumbling, good-hearted innocence and elegant way with words.

Anderson's "intensely pleasurable" film is like a magnum of champagne that makes you light-headed on the pure fun of it, says Tim Robey in the Daily Telegraph. Fiennes is an unexpected star with supreme skill and timing, and the supporting cast is an unmatched smorgasbord of ensemble players - it's wonderful.

Every shot is gorgeously framed, with screwball rhythms and deeper notes that make Anderson's picture worth repeated viewing, says Siobhan Synnot in The Scotsman. The Grand Budapest Hotel is a confection – "deceptively light, very rich, and decidedly moreish".

What they don't like

For all its gorgeous frills and furbelows, Anderson's film never seems to be quite sure what it is about, says Dana Stevens in Slate. It touches on big, dark themes of nostalgia and the fate of 20th-century European history but never quite gets to the deepest, darkest places those paths might lead.

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