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Yes, No, Maybe So: Grand Budapest Hotel

Hospitality is all about speed, charm and mind-reading. Get them checked in, ingratiate yourself, anticipate their every need. Movies have to do that in reverse so the new poster (discussed) and the trailer have arrived to charm and anticipate our needs. Will you check into his GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL in Spring 2014? Let's check off our yes no maybe so boxes...


• ohmygod the colorology! I'm in ♥ with all the reds and purples and whites on view here. Wes Anderson movies may all look exactly like Wes Anderson movies but they do change up the color palette, so points for that.
• And speaking of which... I really think costumers and production designers on his movies do not get enough credit. It's insane to me that Karen Patch, for example, wasn't Oscar nominated for her instantly iconic work on The Royal Tenenbaums. This time it's the legendary Milena Canonero (on her 3rd Anderson picture) and Adam Stockhausen (who graduated to Production Designer on Moonrise Kingdom), respectively.
• If Wes Anderson were a hotelier, I imagine he'd have to run a very small exclusive boutique, building the perfect meticulously designed dollhouse rooms for his devout fanbase and repertory actors to squeeze into. I would glady pay rack. 
• Ralph Fiennes as a ladykiller concierge named "Gustav H"
• Tilda as an unrecognizably old rich lady horny for him? 


• Oh noooos. Tilda dies to kick off the plot? That's too little Tilda.
• ...Especially since the cast list is otherwise a total sausage party. 


• Why is this trailer square? Is Wes challenging himself with an old school aspect ratio? [update after writing: yep, apparently there are three aspect ratios here] I know people complain about his center framed horizontals but I LIKE horizontal, and love his unique aesthetic.
• Do you think this one will skew too forced whacky? (the roundelay of face-punching, the skiing) or too precious (the secret code, the name of the painting, the "lobby boy" cap)
• ...can a Wes Anderson movie even be too precious? Or, if so, should they all be animated like Fantastic Mr Fox?
Moonrise Kingdom will be hard to top but he doesn't need to. Even his least satisfying movie (The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou) still has all sorts of corners and hallways and portholes to look into and at.


Are you a yes, no, or maybe so... and in what ways? Do tell.

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Reader Comments (26)

I am an absolute yes. Admittedly, I'm a fan boy, but I laughed out loud watching the trailer--the face-punching, Fiennes's line delivery ("I sleep with all my friends."), Fiennes running away from the cops, etc. Too bad Angela Lansbury dropped out of the film. I love Tilda Swinton, but it would have been a treat seeing Lansbury in that role. I'm glad, though, that Johnny Depp dropped out. Fiennes is an upgrade.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

Oh yes yes yes yes yes. This will do just fine thank you! Love Ralph Fiennes, but especially when he's in comedy mode (see: In Bruges). Love the design as always, love grand dame Tilda, love that Saorsie Ronan has graduated into her own teenaged hi jinks after all that traumatic preteen time. Love the return of Anderson alums. Love the jokiness--his style makes silliness like that a total delight. My one complaint is that I know this trailer is hiding some Léa Seydoux action. Listen Wes, if you've got it, flaunt it. This trailer needs all the ladies it can get.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTB

every Wes Anderson movie is YES for me. also Ralph Fiennes is one of my favorite actors and he seems really funny here. the best thing is that we don't have to wait next fall to see it.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrace


Moonrise Kingdom is his worst. Admittedly, the dog murder pretty much ruined it for me.

Johnny Depp never dropped out of this; his casting was just a rumor. I believe Ralph was always intended to play the lead. I am really looking forward to seeing him in this role. He seems to be very underrated, which I don't quite understand.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Looks very good to me ...

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrick

Looks like Mr. Anderson's homage to screwball comedy. I was in before... even more so now.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

This was my most anticipated 2014 film by a country mile before I'd seen a second of film. Now it's my most anticipated 2014 by a couple of light years. I love the idea of Anderson doing a pure continental comedy in the old Lubitsch style, which is what this most reminds me of at first blush, but I suspect there will be the usual Wes Anderson pathos sneaking in at the corners (even - especially! - Fantastic Mr Fox is not a pure comedy), and it will be glorious. The colors, the aspect ratio, "TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF MY LOBBY BOY!", the punching roundelay (seriously? this is a cause for concern?) the costumes, Ralph Fiennes absolutely KILLING IT in a llead comic performance - this movie looks like heaven.

As for Wes overall, I'm a fully in the tank fanboy. It drives me mildly crazy that The Life Aquatic, his richest, most nuanced, heartbreaking film - is considered the consensus weak link in his filmography (even with the welcome caveats offered here). I know it's Matt Zoller Seitz's favorite Anderson film too, so hopefully his book will help jumpstart a much needed reevaluation of Steve Zissou and his intrepid crew.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

Maybe so. I wasn't wild for Moonrise Kingdom but the trailer looks amusing & the art direction eye popping. I was disappointed when Angela Lansbury had to drop out of the part I'm guessing Tilda is playing and as much as I love her I wish he had stuck to the original thought and cast another classic actress in the part, Carol Channing, Betty Bacall and Eva Marie Saint are all still working occasionally and would have been interesting choices if we couldn't have Angela.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Yes ! Yes Yes!!!!!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianZ

It looks delicious.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

Think this looks like a great vehicle for Ralph Fiennes!!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

The Grand Buda-YES. I love discovering that a star who's never been in an Anderson film can slip perfectly into his style, and then add something to it, as Fiennes seems to do here.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema



Literally nothing about that trailer was a no to me, and the only thing that was a maybe was Edward Norton's bit, which looked a little too close to his part in Moonrise Kingdom (a film that grows on me even more with each passing day). Anderson's brand of humor is SO on my level that I can't imagine missing any of his films, but this one just looks so frisky and fun. And Tilda as elderly grande dame looks AMAZING, even if she must die early on.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

The sexiness of Ralph Fiennes is the sole reason for my yes vote.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

OK....we need some dissent here in these comments! I am not a Wes Anderson fanboy. (When it comes to Andersons, I'm full on PT). I can't stand Wes Anderson movies...they are so twee and precious and I can't stand it!!!! I watched this trailer almost against my will. And....I'm mildly intrigued....mostly by Ralph Fiennes. Well....so much for dissent!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercorey

I'm a Maybe So. I love Wes Anderson and Moonrise Kingdom was my #2 of last year, but this one reminds me too much of The Life Aquatic (my least favorite of him) and doesn't seem to have as much of a heart as some of his best. Still, I'm glad I was underwhelmed by the trailer, I'm hoping to get surprised.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

Yuuuuuuuuuuuuup. Which is my version of a Yes.

I just love that Tilda is in the Angela role. Get that Best Makeup Oscar for your movie, Wes!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG


October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarcelo - Brazil

Not a fanboy.

Yes for Fiennes. Good acting is always joy to watch and he seems to fit in perfectly. Brody, Defoe and Ronan too. Would have loved to see Lansbury or Bacall instead of Tilda (Whom I normally love, but old lady roles should go to old ladies.)

Maybe so. Its a little too cute and knows it.

No. Not sure about the accent mix.

Make me a Maybe So which is a step up from my usual reaction to W. Anderson.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

I believe I've only seen the tenenbaums one... gave up on "life aquatic", and haven't bothered to try anything more. his style is just not for me.

October 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo


I don't expect it to top Moonrise Kingdom, but it looks very entertaining nonetheless. And yes, very much so, THE COLOURS! <3

October 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPitry

Most definitely a yes. However, while I am loving that Anderson is using 4:3 (especially since the film seems so reminiscent of old screwball), if the film is in multiple aspect ratios that mean potentially half the movie will have to be watched with black bars at the side. It's hard enough to get cinemas to alter the masking when a film is in 4:3 for its entire length let alone when it alters ratio. gaaah.

October 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

I would love this movie but I can not get over the fact it almost had Angela Lasbury and Johnny Depp.

October 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChinoiserie

NO. I can't stand Wes Anderson--- loved his first two films, but from Royal Tennembaums and onwards
his style got more and more self-conscious and obnoxious.

YES to the aspect ratio... with the full frame he can't do his usual shtick of packing every fucking character in the frame... hate it when he does that.

October 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterUlrich

I like Roark's hopeful description of this as a "continental comedy in the Lubitsch style". I'd love that too.

Ralph Fiennes always strikes me as a little heartless though. It's my half formed theory that anyone playing his lover in a Ralph Fiennes movie dies. I imagine actors getting the phone call: Good news! You got the part! (Yay!) You're in a movie with Ralph Fiennes! (Oh... good). You play his lover! (Oh, darn, I'm probably dead in the first reel).

October 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Ulrich -- but so few directors pack any more than 1 character in a frame and always in tight closeup. I hate all the waste of space and i'm glad Anderson uses his.

October 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

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