International Film Series advanced screening: The Grand Budapest Hotel

The CU-Boulder International Film Series held an advanced screening of Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Monday at Muenzinger Auditorium. The film was shown for free, with attendees reserving spots online that quickly filled in anticipation of the famous director’s latest work.

With every seat filled in the auditorium, much of the crowd was not allowed into Muenzinger, but those who made it into the sold-out event were treated with a hilarious, quintessential Anderson film.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is set in Zubrowka, a make-believe nation in 1920s Europe. M. Gustave, a legendary concierge at The Grand Budapest Hotel with a preference for old women, begins training a new lobby boy, Zero Moustafa, a refugee staying in Zubrowka to work. Zero is quickly pulled into Gustave’s adventure when one of the concierge’s former mistresses dies, leaving him an extremely rare and expensive painting. Together, the pair fight off family members of the dead mistress in its efforts to hold onto its prize, “Boy with Apple.” As Gustave and Zero struggle to hold onto the painting, they encounter love, death and an abundance of other obstacles across the strange land of Zubrowka.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a visually perfect production. Anderson implants viewers into a world of surreal imagery loaded with colorful, Dr. Seuss-esque landscapes. The film employs classic Anderson camera technique: an abundance of tracking shots, quick zooms, and overhead views, all of which add to the already pleasing visuals.

Anderson’s usual suspects make appearances throughout the film. Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, Bill Murray and many others, all whom have been featured in previous Anderson casts, held roles in “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

However, Anderson newcomers Ralph Fiennes as M. Gustave and Tony Revolori as Zero Moustafa are cast in the leading roles. Both actors do a tremendous job fitting into Anderson’s imaginative worlds, providing hilarious narrative throughout the film.

Overall, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is a magnificent film that should be seen by both new and old fans of Wes Anderson’s distinguished style. The screening kept moviegoers engaged and laughing from start to finish with an original story and refreshing humor. The light-hearted caper is a welcome addition to the director’s already impressive collection of films.

Editor’s Note: This article originally named M. Gustave’s mistress as a one night stand.

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Luke Ilardo at


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