2. The Grand Budapest Hotel (March 7 US & UK)
For a while now it’s been clear that Wes Anderson has found his groove, and he’s sticking to it. Eccentric ensembles, flat compositions, slow pans, brown blazers, childlike adults, adultlike children, homes and buildings indicative of inherited wealth or prestige, anachronistic consumer goods, family dynamics, psychotherapy, repetitive graphic design, ostentatious displays of cultural capital, precocious artistic pursuits, bold colours, whimsical heartbreak, analogue technology, 60s music, French, analogue recordings of whimsical French 60s music, the occasional suicide, and Futura.
In The Grand Budapest Hotel we can see that Anderson has broken up with Futura and is now dating Archer. Is this indicative of a bold new evolution in his filmmaking?
No, probably not. Anderson, like James Bond, developed his style over the course of his first three films. Ever since The Royal Tenenbaums (surely the Goldfinger of first world problem movies) he’s been producing variations on a theme. Judging by the trailer, The Grand Budapest Hotel looks to be three things: the clearest synthesis of his tropes since Tenenbaums, a potential return to form, and very very funny (its final line alone would be enough to make me buy a ticket). On top of that there are the countless references to 1920s cinema – the trailer lapses repeatedly into a 1:1 aspect ratio, within which various compositions echo the work of Von Stroheim, Dreyer, and the Keystone Cops.
Ultimately, 1920s references and Archer aside, Anderson is clearly just going to keep on doing what he does. But that’s fine. Other people make other movies. Anderson does this. It may not reach the heights of Rushmore…
…but then again, what does? – AP