Flicking through the Guardian’s helpful guide to the highlights of 2014, I was delighted to see the announcement of the new Wes Anderson film. After promptly watching the trailer once, twice, three times…oh and another time because my mother walked in the room, I am itching with excitement but also deflating like a balloon at the prospect of having to wait a few months until its release. (Why are all films promoted so much earlier than their release date?)
Like many others I fell in love with Sam and Suzy’s whirlwind romance across the wooded landscape of the Island of New Penzance in Anderson’s previous film Moonrise Kingdom and so am overjoyed by the prospect of feasting on his latest creation. Watching his films feels like filling your lungs with a breath of fresh air. Or returning to a great dream as you get to enter a different world and follow the Anderson brigade through their bizarre adventures.
For those who have keenly watched all of Anderson’s feature films: Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Moonrise Kingdom – its great to see that the same faces recur in a brilliant variety of strange and marvelous characters. Long term friends Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman are regular cast members, as is my hero Bill Murray – all three make it into the lobby and behind the reception desk at the Grand Budapest Hotel along with a bucket load of Hollywood actors. You only need to scroll down Anderson’s wikipedia entry to see the team of loyal actors, producers, writers and composers to understand how the worlds on-screen are devised and brought to life. Francesca Babb, who wrote an article for the Guardian, aptly described the casts of his films as “a sort of functioning family” which seems so appealing to me. Perhaps this is why the specific style, structure and aesthetic of his films never tire on me.
But on with the show!
Here’s a quick synopsis I found on comingsoon.com about Anderson’s latest offering:
The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Mustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune – all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent.
Feast your eyes on the trailer with its bright colours, hilarious moustaches and flamboyant costumes:
The poster is also rather intriguing.
I love the flatness of the cut out hotel pasted over the mountainous landscape. It’s like a renaissance stage design, or an architectural drawing by the C16th French designer Jacques Androuet du Cerceau that can be found in Joseph Cornell’s ready-made box ‘Setting for a Fairytale’. An example of another dream-like world that you want to enter like Alice through the Looking Glass. (I think I’ve found my next foraging adventure)
UK release date is yet to be announced. I wait with anticipation.