The View From Here

First Look - Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel

First Look - Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel
Michael Bonner

It got pretty busy here at the end of last week, what with one thing or another, so forgive me for not getting round to writing about this earlier. ‘This’, of course, is the trailer for The Grand Budapest Hotel, the new film from Wes Anderson.

Of course, if you didn’t know beforehand it was a Wes Anderson film, it wouldn’t take very long to work it out: Anderson’s stylistic tics are now so distinctive to us his films can usually be identified by a single, artfully composed image. As is the case here: the meticulous composition, the highly stylised colour palette and – yep – there's Bill Murray over there, too. Fans of Wes Anderson Bingo will, presumably, score highly here.

But it would be nice to think that The Grand Budapest Hotel offers something more than just a rehash of Anderson’s favourite themes and recurring cast members. This time, at least, we’re overseas – no prizes for guessing where – and while Anderson isn’t averse to a bit of travel (The Life Aquatic… With Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited) here his destination is snowy Hungary. Apparently, Anderson has shot in three different aspect ratios – 1.33, 1.85, and 2.35:1 – to denote three distinct timeframes in which the story takes place.

And the story itself? It seems to involve Ralph Fiennes’ Gustav H, concierge at the Grand Hotel between the wars, and his relationship with a young lobby boy, Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori). From the trailer, it looks like the plot takes in possible murder, revenge, a prison break and more. There is a secret code and a mysterious painting.

The cast includes Fiennes (who appears to be doing an impersonation of John Barrymore), Revolori, Murray, plus Jason Schwarzman, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Ed Norton, Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Jeff Goldblum and F Murray Abraham. It opens in the States in March; hopefully a UK release date won’t be too far behind.

Follow me on Twitter @MichaelBonner.

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