The Grand Budapest Hotel 2.0 stars

Grand Budapest Hotel movie poster

Director Wes Anderson's apologia pro style sua. Most of the action takes place in the pre-communist heyday of the titular (and pinkly ornate) Alpine retreat, and involves concierge extraordinaire Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) and his attempt to claim the priceless painting left to him by a grateful old guest/lover. The mannered, madcap proceedings are often delightful, occasionally silly, and here and there, gruesome and/or heartbreaking. But the real star of the show is Anderson himself — the storyteller, relating events in his own ineffable fashion — a point he makes by nesting Gustave's tale in layer after layer of narrative device. We open with a fangirl paying tribute to a dead author, then cut to author in his latter days, then to author in his younger days, picking up the story from an old man full of memories, then to the old man as a young witness. And over it all hovers Anderson, the Master Framer himself. 2014.

Matthew Lickona

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