[Editor's Note: We Can't Wait is a Team Experience series, in which we highlight our top 14 most anticipated films of 2014. Here's Michael Cusumano on The Grand Budapest Hotel.)
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ralph Fiennes plays Gustave H, romancer of wealthy old ladies and concierge extraordinaire at a hotel in a fictional European country caught between wars. Told through the eyes of Zero Moustafe, Gustave’s lobby boy protégée, the tale concerns the theft of priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for a tremendous family fortune.
Wes Anderson’s latest rivals Gosford Park for the sheer volume of the cast. There are the returning Anderson champs like Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe and the grand marshal of every Wes Anderson parade, Bill Murray, alongside newbies to Wes World like Fiennes, Saoirse Ronan and Léa Seydoux. Equally exciting is the reunion of Wes and Moonrise Kingdom production designer Adam Stockhausen. (The title Stockhausen squeezed in between Anderson films? A little project called 12 Years a Slave.)
Why We Can't Wait
Even if you’re an Wes Anderson agnostic up to this point I don’t know how anyone can resist the ornate visual splendor promised by this film. The trailer was so beautiful I was tempted to put it on my top 10 list for 2013.
Grand Budapest looks like a perfect culmination of Anderson’s career up to this point. Rather than reinventing himself, Wes appears to be trying to see how far he could push his signature style, a choice I’m entirely on board with. Grand Budapest has the potential to be the director’s most purely farcical film that doesn’t feature stop motion woodland creatures. Even operating at his most screwball, though, I would be surprised if Anderson omitted the melancholy soulfulness that has become his trademark.
On a non-Wes related note this looks like the most fun Ralph Fiennes has had on screen since In Bruges. Comedic Ralph is my favorite Ralph Fiennes and it comes along all too rarely.
But We Do Have To Wait
The early months of the year can be a dead zone for interesting film but at least we won’t have to wait long. Anderson’s latest will open Berlinale in February before hitting theaters on March 7.
3 Foxcatcher 4 Under the Skin 5 Inherent Vice 6 Into the Woods
7 Snowpiercer 8 Nymphomaniac 9 Boyhood 10 Big Eyes 11 The Last 5 Years
12 Gone Girl 13 Can a Song Save Your Life 14 Veronica Mars