The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.
Wes Anderson’s latest is a strange little tale (as we’ve come to expect), set in a fictional part of Eastern Europe around the second world war period, it stars Ralph Fiennes as a famed concierge at the titular hotel, and focuses around the murder of an older lady (an unrecognisable Tilda Swinton) who he had relations with. For a Wes Anderson film, this is more plot heavy purely on the basis that it has a plot, but it still felt unsatisfying as a whole, and the flurry of cameos led to an overstuffed feeling. Too many ideas, and the attempts to bring them all together don’t entirely work. Ralph Fiennes is exceptional though, very funny throughout and he creates an interesting and entertaining character that fits very nicely into the Wes Anderson ‘world’.
With that being said, there’s a hell of a lot to find funny here, with slapstick used really well at times, hinting at an influence from silent films and caper films of the past. The conclusion to the ski slope section with Willem Dafoe is particularly great. The production values are exceptional as well, with the hotel recreated stunningly, and the scenery in the chase scenes through the mountains is very nice – this is one area where Wes Anderson films do truly excel. The framing device feels overwrought, with Tom Wilkinson’s older writer looking back at himself as a younger writer, played by Jude Law, who interviews F. Murray Abraham, who himself looks back at his time as a young lobby boy and the main thrust of the story. It’s very Wes Anderson, but it’s too much and overall, it’s another frustrating effort. There’s no denying Wes Anderson’s talent and vision as a director, but at times you really wish there was someone there to reign him in a bit!
Directed By: Wes Anderson
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Jude Law, Tom Wilkinson, F. Murray Abraham, Tony Revolori, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Saoirse Ronan, Mathieu Amalric, Jason Schwartzman, Lea Seydoux, Ed Norton, Bill Murray and Owen Wilson