After the grand successes of The Fantastic Mr. Fox and Moonrise Kingdom, indie auteur Wes Anderson is at the peak of his powers. Moonrise was his biggest critical hit to date and a smash commercial success, the kind of movie that became an event film on the art house circuit. Anderson’s seventh full-length feature was a bittersweet ode not just to the travails of youth but also the French New Wave that inspired him, a earnest love letter to Jean-Luc Godard and Eric Rohmer.
But no matter the film, Anderson never sacrifices his trademark style, deadpan ensembles that unfold like dioramas. Billed as an “American Empirical Picture,” this story about a murder at the Grand Budapest Hotel reunites all the Wes Anderson usual suspects (Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman) with some new faces in Saoirse Ronan and Ralph Fiennes. Fiennes, in particular, looks like he’s having more fun than he’s been allowed to in ages as a concierge suspected of having a hand in an old woman’s death.
The trailer most prominently recalls Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited, but The Grand Budapest Hotel revels in the madcap humor that made The Fantastic Mr. Fox feel so freeing. This looks to be Anderson at his most liberated, a perfect blend of all the things we love most about his work. We’ll get to check out the final product on March 7, 2014. Mark your calendars.