Mighty Fiennes: Grand Budapest Hotel 

February 26, 2014 9:03 AM

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The new Wes Anderson movie basically has Nazis in it, which might suggest a bad-taste variation on the lazy SNL horror-spoof “The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders.” Their eventual appearance (with lightning bolts in place of swastikas) results from Anderson’s journey, in his own fashion, to an imagined Europe and specifically to the hotel overseen by a consummate cosmopolitan named Monsieur Gustave in a country called Dubrowka. Played by Ralph Fiennes, who nearly outdoes Gene Hackman’s Royal Tenenbaums turn as an outsider to the Anderson company, Gustave is the picture of cultivation, of ineffable delicacy of manner, proud loyalty and, you might say, l’air de panache (as his preferred cologne is called). He is, in other words, another in a line of Anderson characters in danger of losing his style—and his sense of self—to greater forces, however foolishly, though in this case they’re especially evil ones.

In this prewar world, Gustave and his protégé/refugee bellboy Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori) find their fates entangled with one of Gustave’s elderly consorts, the wealthy Madame D., whose death spurs a bloody struggle for her inheritance led by her gangsterish son Dmitri (Adrien Brody). Never quite ...

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