Magnificent Story Told Magnificently Well
5 Stars; MPAA Rating: R
Director: Wes Anderson
The four time periods:
- The present in 2.35:1 aspect ratio with the author's grave and the teenage girl reading his memoirs.
- 1985, also 2.35:1 aspect ratio with the author writing his memoirs about a trip he made there 17 years earlier.
- 1968 in 1.85:1 aspect ratio when the author traveled to the hotel and met Zero Moustafa, the hotel's owner.
- 1932 in 1.33:1 aspect ratio when Zero first started working at the hotel as a boy.
The hotel’s concierge takes Moustafa under his wing, mentoring him. There is plenty of mystery, adventure and intrigue with a war looming, the mysterious death of the hotel owner and the machinations of the hotel owner’s cruel and evil son. The drama is generously peppered with wry comic relief throughout. Wes Anderson’s touch in the story and the directing is quite evident. Production design is lavish, with the hotel’s interior and exterior inspired by a combination of the Palace Bristol Hotel and Grandhotel Pupp in the Czech Republic, and the Grandhotel Gellért in Hungary.
A grandly executed production, with excellent pacing and unpredictability in the plot making for some suspense and numerous surprises. The non-linear author’s memoirs framework greatly enhances it. It’s a Wes Anderson triumph deserving five stars for a magnificent story told magnificently well.