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  • Writer's pictureRonny Duncan Studios

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Updated: Oct 16, 2022


Plot Summary: In the 1930s, the Grand Budapest Hotel is a popular European ski resort, presided over by concierge Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes). Zero, a junior lobby boy, becomes Gustave's friend and protege. Gustave prides himself on providing first-class service to the hotel's guests, including satisfying the sexual needs of the many elderly women who stay there. When one of Gustave's lovers dies mysteriously, Gustave finds himself the recipient of a priceless painting and the chief suspect in her murder.


*Recognition: Nominated for Best Picture, Director (Anderson), Original Screenplay (Hugo Guinness and Anderson), Cinematography, and Film Editing; Won for Best Original Score (Alexandre Desplat), Production Design, Costume Design, and Makeup and Hairstyling.


Did You Know:

- This was the highest-grossing independent movie of 2014, and the highest-grossing limited-release movie of 2014.

- The fictional Republic of Zubrowka was named after a Polish vodka liqueur named Zubrowka.

- The highest-grossing movie to date of writer, producer, and director Wes Anderson's career.

- The soundtrack features a rare instrument; the balalaika, a three-stringed, triangular-shaped Russian folk instrument that was carefully chosen by Wes Anderson. Balalaikas come in various sizes, much like the violin, from prima to contrabass. Several dozen players from France and Russia gathered in Paris to record the soundtrack in Anderson's presence. The instrument is heard throughout the movie, but is most prominent in the second part of the official trailer (down the ski slopes) with the balalaika's most popular theme, "The Moon Shines".

- The cast includes four Oscar winners: Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Fisher Stevens, and F. Murray Abraham; and twelve Oscar nominees: Bill Murray, Jude Law, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, Owen Wilson, Harvey Keitel, Bob Balaban, Tom Wilkinson, Willem Dafoe, Ralph Fiennes, Lucas Hedges, and Saoirse Ronan.


What is this movie is about?/Elevator Pitch: Buddy adventure film involving murder, a rich inheritance, and eccentric characters set against a 1930s Eastern Europe background.


Best Performance: Wes Anderson/Ralph Fiennes

Best Secondary Performance: Ralph Fiennes/Wes Anderson

Most Charismatic Award: Ralph Fiennes/Saoirse Ronan

Best Scene:

  • Madame D

  • Will Reading

  • The Society of the Cross Keys

  • Murder of Kovacs

  • Prison Escape

  • Prison Concierge

  • Gustave Runs

  • Ski Chase

  • The Shootout

Favorite Scene: Prison Concierge/Prison Escape

Most Indelible Moment: M. Gustave and the Look of the Film


In Memorium: None this week


Best Lines:

M. Gustave: What is a lobby boy? A lobby boy is completely invisible, yet always in sight. A lobby boy remembers what people hate. A lobby boy anticipates the client's needs before the needs are needed. A lobby boy is, above all, discreet to a fault. Our guests know that their deepest secrets, some of which are frankly rather unseemly, will go with us to our graves. So keep your mouth shut, Zero.


Lobby Boy: What happened?

M. Gustave: What happened, my dear Zero, is I beat the living sh*t out of a sniveling little runt called Pinky Bandinski, who had the gall to question my virility. Because, if there's one thing we've learned from penny dreadfuls, it's that when you find yourself in a place like this, you must never be a candy ass; you've got to prove yourself from day one. You've got to win their respect. You should take a long look at his ugly mug this morning. He's actually become a dear friend. You'll meet him, I hope so.


M. Gustave: Rudeness is merely the expression of fear. People fear they won't get what they want. The most dreadful and unattractive person only needs to be loved and they will open up like a flower.


Zero Moustafa: To Be Frank, I Think His World Had Vanished Long Before He Ever Entered It.


Funniest Line:

M. Gustave: She was dynamite in the sack by the way.

Zero Moustafa: She was 84.

M. Gustave: I've had older. When you're young, it's all filet steak, but as the years go by, you have to move on to the cheap cuts. Which is fine with me, because I like those. More flavorful, or so they say.


Dmitri: If I learn you ever once laid a finger on my mother's body, living or dead, I swear to God, I'll cut your throat! You hear me?

M. Gustave: I thought I was supposed to be a fucking faggot.

Dmitri: You are, but you're bisexual.


The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 6.25

Impact/Significance: 6.25

Novelty: 9.5

Classic-ness: 8.5

Rewatchability: 7.75

Audience Score: 9 (94% Google, 86% RT)

Total: 47.25


Remaining Questions:

  • Why was the author a national hero?

  • What color were Madame D's nails?

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