A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Grand Budapest Hotel is another quirky, irreverent movie from Wes Anderson, but with more violence than his previous films. There’s some gory violence -- one character is a killer who attacks his prey with glee, stabbing them, cutting off their fingers. All of it’s cartoonish and exaggerated but still, expect blood. A brief scene depicting a woman performing a sex act on a man flits across the screen so quickly you can almost miss it, but it’s there. There’s lots of swearing too, including "s--t," "bitch” and "f--k."
What's the story?
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL was once a magnificent establishment, luring the creme de la creme to this corner of Eastern Europe. But over the years it has fallen on hard times. Its owner, Zero Moustafa (played by F. Murray Abraham as an older man), is devoted to the place. Long ago, it was presided over by an elegant and eccentric concierge, Monsieur Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes), who runs afoul of the authorities when he's accused of killing an elderly female guest (Tilda Swinton), who happens to have bequeathed him a very important painting. Her son (Adrien Brody) is convinced Monsieur Gustave is behind his mother's death and wants to block any inheritance meant for the concierge.
Is it any good?
The Grand Budapest Hotel is like a Faberge egg: so much whimsy and beauty and point-of-view wrapped up in a comparatively tiny 100 minutes. It's a witty, irreverent film, and just when you think you've regained your footing after yet another bizarre, hilarious and ultimately charming plot twist, it trips you up again. Director Wes Anderson creates such specifically visual, detailed, delightful movies, but there's plenty to think about too. While the film makes you laugh, it's also destabilizing you with resolutions that are fresh and complex. It'll make you think about friendship and loyalty, and transport you to a world that seems both strange and familiar. That's a feat.
Besides, how can anyone resist a cast this brilliant, including Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, and Saoirse Ronan? Though The Grand Budapest Hotel is larger than life and highly stylized, as is the case for most of Anderson's movies, it's also touching and thoughtful. Teens and their parents will find a good balance between the bizarre and the true, and may even recognize themselves in the hopeful, aspiring yet devoted Monsieur Gustave or his longtime friend, Zero.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: March 7, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: June 17, 2014
- Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton
- Director: Wes Anderson
- Studio: Fox Searchlight
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Adventures
- Run time: 99 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language, some sexual content and violence
- Awards/Honors: Golden Globe
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