“The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Bobby Shipman

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is a spunky tale caked with sharp dialogue, sardonic humor and wistful whimsy devoid of poignancy.

The film stars Ralph Fiennes (the “Harry Potter” series) as M. Gustave, a legendary hotel concierge, and Tony Revolori as Zero Moustafa, a lobby boy.

M. Gustave, well known for erotic rendezvous with the more mature hotel guests, is granted “Boy with Apple,” a priceless Renaissance painting, after his most loyal patron deceases.

When complications with the will arise, M. Gustave and Zero snatch the painting, which leads to a grandeur adventure of cat and mouse.

The world has witnessed Wes Anderson’s penchant for sculpting unique universes which defy the laws of physics in films such as “Moonrise Kingdom,” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox.”

Fast-paced and almost robotic, Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” reminds me of the pop-up books I read as a child.

Although nuanced, the film uses eye-popping pastels to offset the dark and, at times, gruesome content and animated backdrops that are as capricious as they are fanciful.

M. Gustave’s story is told in tri-retrospect, a term I think I just made up meaning it backtracks three times before it’s told.

A young girl reflects over a book, written by a writer who visited the hotel when he was younger and was told the story of M. Gustave by an elderly Zero – who then owned the hotel.

Confusing, but clever.

M. Gustave’s story is also scribbled with cameos from Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Adrian Brody, Jude Law, William Defoe, Harvey Keitel, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Edward Norton and, my personal favorite, Jeff Goldblum.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is bawdy and elegant – must-see.