Agatha, Saoirse Ronan, slaving in Mendl's bakery, with her "enormous birthmark the shape of Mexico over half her face": Below. Click on the image to expand.
The story, based on Austrian Stefan Zweig's original story, was Wes Anderson's incubator, where he fleshed out a screenplay that told of the madcap misadventures of Gustave H. and Zero, in which they make discovery of dishonorable deeds, and survive to recount them in a most interesting satire of sorting out the interpersonal, and intergovernmental 'wheat from the chaff'. The time and place is pre-World War II Hungary, in a the Bavarian village, where the Grand Budapest Hotel is the nexus of the local economy.
Edward Norton, as the as the newly indoctrinated police / ZZ inspector, keeps the peace, or is it, he furthers the fascism by directing his cadre of deputized thugs: Above and below. Click on the image to expand.
In Wes Anderson's homage to Charlie Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" (1940), the Nazis Swastika is replaced by the vertical banner rendition of two letters of Z. While the fascist evil is mildly projected, the oddly formed insignia is a campy symbol of the pure evil that was yet to unfold in that era. Anderson's version of these "Brown Shirts" of the early to mid 1930's were more like Hollywood's Keystone Cops from film's silent era than the Waffen SS built from the manifestations of Adolf Hitler's worst demons.
Owen Wilson, as a hotel concierge, represents the team to the new fascists in town. Click on the image to expand.
Still, The film is not about transition of pre-Nazi Europe to the terror of the world, but more about a grand hotel, a dutiful hotel concierge, and a loyal Lobby Boy out for a grand adventure ... Wes Anderson style.
Gustave H., Ralph Fiennes (left); Agatha, and Zero, Tony Revolori, helps the painting "Boy with Apple" find a hiding place: Above.Gustave H. and Zero out of uniform, and 'on the lamb': below. Click on the image to expand.