* * * *
Zany, dark, delightful comedy)
Wes Anderson makes wonderful, zany, dark and delightful movies. We loved his “Moonrise Kingdom,” partially filmed right here in Rhode Island. If you loved it, you will love “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
Ralph Fiennes, not known for his comedy roles, is hysterical as Gustave, the hotel concierge, every bit prim and proper...and willing to make himself available – totally – to all the rich old ladies who come to the elegant mountain resort every year.
When a rich dowager (Tilda Swinton) dies and leaves a valuable painting to Gustave, he is accused of murdering her. He steals and hides the painting and flees from the police and the family with his faithful lobby boy, Zero (Tony Revolori). It is the lobby boy who tells the story in flashbacks...and what a fun story it is.
Gustave is caught, thrown in prison, escapes and, well, wait and see what happens.
What makes the movie so intriguing are the oddball characters. Adrien Brody is outlandishly sinister, as is Willem Defoe. Bill Murray shows up in a cameo, along with Harvey Keitel and F. Murray Abraham.
Anderson shoots much of the movie using brightly colored miniatures and unusual framing of the scenes, many of which are shot in a square box like old time movies. It is a visual delight.
To tell you more would be to reveal the many wonderful surprises in this delightful, fantastical romp.
Rated R for some naughty language and tongue-in-cheek sex and violence.