Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Best Local Sandwiches

Best Local Sandwiches

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
San Antonio’s Transgender Community Shows its Pride

San Antonio’s Transgender Community Shows its Pride

The Pride Issue: Despite the common belief that it was transgender activist Sylvia Rivera who sparked the beginning of the modern gay rights movement by flinging her high... By Jade Esteban Estrada 7/2/2014
Best Happy Hour

Best Happy Hour

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Cityscrapes: Local history pays the price for Briscoe deal

Cityscrapes: Local history pays the price for Briscoe deal

News: The annual City budget is a dense and often arcane thing, filled with “mandates,” “restricted funds,” and “special funds.” It isn’t the lightest reading... By Heywood Sanders 9/17/2014

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


How 'Grand Budapest Hotel' Helped a Wes Anderson Hater Change (Sorta)

Photo: Courtesy Photo, License: N/A

Courtesy Photo

M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) and Zero (Tony Revolori) try to charm their way out of one of many sticky situations in The Grand Budapest Hotel

Sound exhausting? It is, but once the eyes stop rolling, it all becomes a lark. Anderson and his director of photography, Robert D. Yeoman, go to the trouble of shooting each different time period in the aspect ratio of its era. That means the movie is more or less square in the 1930s and widescreen for the present day. It’s incredibly affected, but it’s also kind of charming. Anderson knows his film history.

Once we’ve met all the players in 1968—Jude Law as Young Writer and the underused F. Murray Abraham as Mr. Moustafa—we go to the past and start moving. In the 1930s, we meet Zero (Tony Revolori, who doesn’t have Anderson’s style of dialogue delivery nailed) and M. Gustave, who is played to the hilt by Ralph Fiennes.

Gustave is the Andersoniest of Anderson characters and, as personified by Fiennes, he is funny, absurd, grotesque and enchanting. Gustave runs the Grand Budapest Hotel in its heydey, and he has sex with lots of old women (like, octogenarian old). They dote on him; he looks after them. Life, like the hotel, is grand.

Then, Madame D. (Tilda Swinton), one of Gustave’s lovers, is bumped off. She leaves Gustave a priceless painting, and her rotten son Dmitri (Adrien Brody) accuses Gustave of the murder. Gustave and Zero steal the painting and before long they’re involved in a movie-length chase sequence that has them tailed by Dmitri’s henchman, Jopling (Willem Dafoe, looking not unlike his Max Schreck character from Shadow of the Vampire); aided by an Irish baker’s assistant (Saorise Ronan); thwarted by war; and stopped by soldiers (including an out of place-ish Edward Norton). Gustave is thrown in prison, only to escape with Zero’s and Harvey Keitel’s help.

Those are sort of spoilers, but they’re sort of not, because everything that happens in the caper section (that is, the 1930s) is predictable. You don’t have to have know Stefan Zweig to know the tropes.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is fun, silly and delightful. Sure, the whip pans get to be a bit much and the 1960s and 1980s sections are superfluous, but if a hater like me can enjoy it, imagine how ga ga the fans will be.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Dir. Wes Anderson; writ. Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness (inspired by the works of Stefan Zweig); feat. Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Defoe, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel, Edward Norton
Opens March 21 at Santikos Bijou

Recently in Screens & Tech
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus