Reviewed by: Pamela Gardner
What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer
|Featuring:||Ralph Fiennes … M. Gustave
F. Murray Abraham … Mr. Moustafa
Mathieu Amalric … Serge X.
Adrien Brody … Dmitri
Willem Dafoe … Jopling
Jeff Goldblum … Deputy Kovacs
Harvey Keitel … Ludwig
Jude Law … Young Writer
Bill Murray … M. Ivan
Edward Norton … Henckels
Saoirse Ronan … Agatha
Jason Schwartzman … M. Jean
Léa Seydoux … Clotilde
Tilda Swinton … Madame D.
Tom Wilkinson … Author
Owen Wilson … M. Chuck
|Director:||Wes Anderson—“Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox”|
|Producer:||Scott Rudin Productions
|Distributor:||Fox Searchlight Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.|
“Boy with Apple”
When I saw the cast list for “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” there was no question that I wanted to see this film. The story opens with a young girl with a book titled you guessed it, The Grand Budapest Hotel. She glances up to a bust statue of the author of the book. We soon hear the narration of the story within a story. Tom Wilkinson (author) recounts his visit and encounter with a mysterious man rumored to be the owner of The Grand Budapest Hotel. This flashback begins a another story within the story within a story. The author is now played by Jude Law. The man invites the author to a dinner to tell the author of how he acquired his fortune and the hotel. This dinner flashes back and establishes yet another storyline. The man retells his story of humble beginnings as a bellboy in the hotel and his supervisor, mentor and friend Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes)—a womanizing player who “befriends” rich, old, blond women and teaches his protégé all the ropes of running the hotel, until one of his old ladies dies under strange circumstances, leaving him a priceless Renaissance painting: “Boy with Apple.” This causes the family of the deceased woman to do whatever it takes to keep the family fortune to themselves.
Let me start with the multiple story-lines, they were simple to follow. However, the basis for the story-lines were pretentious and unnecessary. I felt the writers were trying too hard to make the film intricate, the plot was good enough without that. Moving on to the acting, two words “Top Shelf”! Every actor was on the top of their game, there were no small parts, every character was important and essential to this methodical plot. I must mention the cinematography, it was ingenious—looking like a dollhouse come to life, with the unreal realistic view of the landscape. It was visually entertaining like a Broadway play or a beautifully conducted orchestra.
That being said, there is a reason why this film is rated R. First, it is surprising violent; I wasn’t expecting that much violence. Next, would have to be the blasphemy and foul language. All the positive visual aspects, were overshadowed by the objectionable content.
It’s difficult to draw any spiritual truths from this film. There is a real attempt to redeem the lead character, persona. This attempt comes at the end, and does bring the story to a meaningful conclusion. However, with everything you see, the message of the film is somewhat untoward.
As for recommendation, the choice is yours, but if you want an uplifting film with biblical foundational truth look elsewhere.
Violence: Heavy to extreme / Profanity: Heavy—“G*d-d*mn” (8), “Dear God” (2), “Swear to God” (2), hell (2), damn (3), f-words (11), s-words (6), “pr*ck,” ass (3), a**hole, SOB (3) / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…“The Grand Budapest Hotel” offers a cinematic staycation… For Anderson’s army of acolytes, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is a lovely place to bunk, with hauntingly familiar music lulling them to Dreamland. … not as emotionally radiant as Anderson’s previous gem… “Moonrise Kingdom.”
—Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
…It’s a lovely film, steeped in a vanished world, and if it doesn’t quite tap the emotional depths of “Moonrise Kingdom,” it offers countless delights of its own. …
—Ty Burr, The Boston Globe
…No reservations… delightful… a rich Viennese pastry of a film which is a salute to a world gone by — not only old, pre-war Europe but old pre-code Hollywood. …
—Stephen Whitty, The Star-Ledger (New Jersey)
…another captivating Wes Anderson destination… [3½]
—Duane Dudek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
…This stylized and vibrant caper is Wes Anderson's most ambitious, mesmerizing and complex tale yet. … It's a mature, intricately layered visual delight. … [3½/4]
—Claudia Puig, USA Today
…deeply pleasurable immersion… This delirious operetta-farce is an eerily detailed and very funny work from the savant virtuoso of American indie cinema, Wes Anderson. …
—Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (UK)
…in Wes Anderson’s typical style of entertaining storytelling (stressing colorful, well-developed characters), but it’s marred by lewd content, foul language, and violence. …
—Ted Baehr, Movieguide
…a very humanistic parable that seems in line with today’s breezy view of homosexuality and lacks any regard for God or those in the audience who reverence Him. …
—Phil Boatwright, Preview Family Movie and TV Review