“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is Wes Anderson’s quirkiest film yet

Intricate characters, simplistic camerawork and colorful sets are all part of Wes Anderson’s famed world of film. Fortunately, all of these elements tied into his newest creation “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which came out March 7.

When I heard about Anderson’s new movie, I knew I had to see it theaters. Thinking his movies were mainstream enough, I thought it would be playing at large theaters in Clackamas or Bridgeport, but surprisingly, the only place I found was Cinema 21 Theater in Portland.

The film centers on the life of a lobby boy, Zero, played by newcomer Tony Revolori, in a popular hotel in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka during the 1930s. Even though the story shows the coming of age of Zero, Ralph Fienne’s character as the eccentric and extravagant hotel concierge, M. Gustave steals the show.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” follows Gustave as he is accused of killing Madame D., played by Tilda Swinton, an older woman he had a relationship with. It is also about her family’s fight over the contents of her will. The movie features hilarious quips between unique and wonderfully developed characters. Not only is there humor, but there is also a surprising amount of violence, at least for an Anderson movie. I wondered how it could be rated R until I heard several f-bombs, saw some brief sex scenes and the occasional dismembering.

One of the great things Anderson’s movies are known for are their large, excellent cast lists. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” had common but, phenomenal Anderson actors like Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton and Adrien Brody. Other actors like Saoirse Ronan, Jeff Goldblum and Willem Dafoe shone as sometimes smaller, but important characters. Most outstanding was Dafoe as a brass knuckle wearing, motorcycle riding, intimidating guy who brought a change to Anderson’s often cute characters.

Anderson’s personality and the detail he creates for his characters can sometimes leave the plot less developed, which is what happened in “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” It was a nice, interesting enough storyline but something was missing. The twists and turns in the story weren’t deep enough to be too surprised. The few character deaths brought initial shock, but didn’t add too much to the conclusion.

Overall, “The Grand Budapest Hotel was a whimsical, imaginative movie that really showcased Anderon’s art. The array of characters brought extra pizzaz to the lacking plotline. Nevertheless, I give this film an A because it is a great adventure full of campy music, witty dialogue and bright acting.