By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 7, 2014 at 3:27PM
Fiennes does his absolute best, but unfortunately Gustave eventually wears out his welcome. That's because as satisfying as the movie is in its first 50 minutes, this swiftly spinning top loses momentum in its second half, despite a few satisfying slapstick scenes and madcap chases, and slowly winds down to a halt.
Anderson seems to be reveling in the past, as he is wont to do, and enjoying the myriad details of creating his version of it. His alter-ego Gustave is starring in his own fantasy world. But as Moustafa points out, "his world had vanished long before he entered it. But he sure sustained the illusion for a little while." Anderson's illusion is visually sublime--but the narrative he's constructed is wafer thin.