George Clark’s review published on Letterboxd:
Before beginning this review, it must be noted that I don't consider myself a 'fan' of Wes Anderson's work. Granted I haven't exactly seen many of his films so that could all change but for now, he's never been a director I've particularly gravitated towards. However, that doesn’t stop The Grand Budapest Hotel from being truly outstanding, blending an incredibly stacked cast and a fun, interesting, and quirky story together, culminating in something that's not only charming but uniquely special in its own way.
Inspired by the writings of Austrian Stefan Zweig, The Grand Budapest Hotel follows the story of a writer who encounters the owner of a high-class hotel, who tells him of his early years serving as a lobby boy under an exceptional concierge named M. Gustave. The film could have easily been just another unamusing project, too 'quirky' for its own good. Yet it's not what I thought it was going to be at all, and for that, I was left quite presently surprised by how charming, fun and incredibly well made it was. Wes Anderson’s eighth feature is a thoroughly likable film with its odd charm and strange storyline working incredibly well, transfixing me for its entirety and making me increasingly interested in checking out the rest of his filmography. A feat I previously thought unachievable due to my complete lack of interest.
However, this whimsical tale oozes charm with its brisk editing, frankly astounding vibrant colour scheme, and beautiful cinematography working perfectly throughout. The aforementioned stacked cast, which includes the likes of Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amairic, Adrien Brody, Williem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Kietel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, and the outstanding Ralph Fiennes, are all truly stunning whilst on screen. Whether it be the short cameos or more developed roles, each actor/actress never failed to make me smile, crafting characters you care more about than the extravagant, yet still utterly brilliant, plot at hand.
Nevertheless, this 4-time Academy Award winner (Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design) truly deserves every acclaim it can get. It's a film I went into with fairly low expectations and was ultimately left completely bewildered by its brilliance. The Grand Budapest Hotel is a dark, daft, and delightful triumph for Wes Anderson. I couldn't help but love it.