Be my guest

Be my guest

Check into Wes Anderson’s latest crazy on-screen creation: a nutty hotel with a five-star cast.

For someone whose fear of flying meant he used to travel from the USA to Europe by boat, Wes Anderson isn’t afraid to crisscross the globe in his films. His past tales take in young love in New England (Moonrise Kingdom), family drama in New York (The Royal Tenenbaums), and a train trip across India (The Darjeeling Limited).

This month, the director’s whimsical eye alights on the fictional Republic of Zubrowka in Europe between the wars, home to a grand hotel and its legendary concierge, Gustave H (played by Ralph Fiennes).

‘We looked all over for our ideal hotel,’ says the producer Jeremy Dawson. ‘We wanted it to be a mountain spa resort – like Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic. Eventually, in Gorlitz, a Saxon town in Germany, we found a run-down department store that was the beginnings of what we were looking for.’

To create the lavish interiors, Anderson and his team toured some very smart spots. ‘We wanted the lobby to be a whole world, with a barbershop, a bar – a pastiche of all the hotels we saw,’ says Dawson.

The result? A film worth lingering over, a charmingly silly story starring Jude Law and Bill Murray, which hurtles through mountains, murder, art theft, a prison break and love.

‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ opens the Berlin Film Festival on 6 February and is out on 7 March 2014

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