Every two years or so, film fans are treated to a new and fascinating movie from director/writer/producer Wes Anderson. His films have become a genre in and of themselves, with a focus on family, stylized nostalgia, and both humor and action injected with his signature quirkiness. Anderson’s latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, hits theaters with a limited release today, and is likely to be unlike any film he’s made before. However, it is a Wes Anderson film, so you’ll undoubtedly see some familiar faces in this all-star cast; if you can recognize them.
The imagination of Wes Anderson has taken us deep below the sea, to the far reaches of exotic India, to the pristine shores of New Penzance, and now to a stately mountainside hotel in the Eastern European Republic of Zubrowka. The man in charge of operating the hotel is its concierge, M. Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes). Not only is he in charge of the hotel’s staff, but also the happiness of its guests; particularly the “needs” of the more elderly women. When a new lobby boy, Zero (Tony Revolori) arrives, Gustave takes him under his wing. But things quickly go sour for the concierge when the elderly Madame D (Tilda Swinton) dies at the hotel and leaves a prized painting to Gustave in return for his years of “service”. This puts him under suspicion for her murder, and it will be up to Gustave and Zero to prove his innocence amongst a band of eccentric guests.
Some of the actors playing these guests are veterans of Anderson’s films, including Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, and Owen Wilson. Some newcomers to the mix include Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Saoirse Ronan, Tom Wilkinson, Bob Balaban, and Léa Seydoux. You might have to pay pretty close attention, though, as most of the cast sports incredible makeup, prosthetics, and clothing that make them almost unrecognizable. While most directors would thrust their big name actors to the forefront to draw in audiences, the players in The Grand Budapest Hotel disappear into their characters, as well as the story itself. Anderson’s films are known for the relationships between its characters, and with a cast this big, it’s the perfect opportunity to create human drama the way only Wes Anderson can.
While The Grand Budapest Hotel is only receiving a limited release in theaters, you shouldn’t pass on an opportunity to see the latest film from probably the greatest indie filmmaker around. Find showtimes and tickets for a theater nearest you here.