The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson has this film making thing locked down. He has realised that, no matter how much money you have to spend on making things look pretty, looking pretty doesn’t always mean looking realistic. As a consequence there are all sorts of fantastic and magical settings in the film, the fictional Republic of Zubrowka has something of the fairy-tale about it, Ludwiggian castles and paper cut clouds. It’s not the real world, but it’s a beautiful place to visit. The story is equally whimsical, it has interesting things to say about loyalty and friendship, fascism, folly and greed, but these things come second to the story. It’s an adventure that would fall into the category of epic were it not about so few people. Ralph Fiennes plays M. Gustav, a man who delights in the pomp and unashamed aesthetic of the world that he occupies, able to see through its slight ridiculousness and remain in the face of all things polite, kind and gentlemanly. By his side though, and the real star of the story is Zero (Tony Revolori) who begins the story as Gustavs humble lobby boy, and ends it his saviour. The best thing is Revoloris straight faced acceptance of all that goes on around him. Above all though, this is the first film I have watched in a while where I didn’t want it to end.