Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

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Ralph Fiennes was nominated for a golden globe and bafta for his performance as Monsieur Gustave H., the legendary concierge in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is currently my pick for best picture – it’s a wonderful and beautifully crafted film that one can watch over and over again without getting tired of. I loved everything about the film, from the set and costume design, to the quirky characters, the art direction and the acting. The story is funny, weird yet heartwarming, and Wes Anderson is my pick for best director. It never goes overboard with its quirky humour and the story is filled with heart.

I’m not too familiar with Ralph Fiennes’ performances, but I think he’s a great actor based on the few films I’ve seen him in. I thought he was great in The Constant Gardener and Red Dragon, and I also liked him a lot as Lord Voldemort.

This role isn’t the kind of character I’d imagine Fiennes playing –  an eccentric concierge with numerous lovers and an unsual love for poetry.  I imagine such a role would straightaway go to Johnny Depp in the past, but thankfully, the decision was to go with the (imo) better actor. Fiennes finds a fine balance between the eccentric mannerisms and realism. The comical moments are all pitch perfect, and I found Gustave to be a very funny presence throughout the whole film. Even though he’s pretty, for the lack of a better word, immoral, I found his snobbishness strangely likable and charming. Fiennes nails the over-the-top dialogue of the film perfectly, but more importantly, he gives the character a heart. I especially liked how the relationship between Gustave and Zero was developed. You can sense how they grew to really like each other as friends even though it was never explicitly stated, and the whole thing becomes very moving towards the end.

Fiennes performance is also deceptively simple as Gustave may come across as a one-note character, but I always felt that he was more manipulative than what his appearance suggests. He always seem to have a way with things, and his actions always seem to have a reason behind them, even if they might seem random at first. I particularly enjoyed one scene where a menacing inmate helps him escape after being offered mush – like how he is perceived by all the characters (other than the ones who want him dead), I find Gustave a very likable character whom one just cannot dislike.

While I wouldn’t call in amazing, I still loved Ralph Fiennes performance in The Grand Budapest Hotel. He is perfectly in sync with his movie’s brilliance, and he gives an extremely charming and heartwarming performance. 5/5 for both film and performance.

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