I like all of Wes Anderson’s movies, but his last film, Moonrise Kingdom, was also, in my opinion, his best. So I could hardly be looking forward more to The Grand Budapest Hotel, which will arrive in theaters next spring. The first trailer just hit the Web.
The film centers on the relationship between M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes), a concierge at the Grand Budapest between the two world wars, and Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori), a “lobby boy.” (As a colleague pointed out to me, Fiennes here looks a bit like John Barrymore in Grand Hotel, which the title of this movie clearly invokes.) Some have criticized Anderson’s handling of race in the past; it will be interesting to see how Anderson handles that subject here. The stunning cast includes Mathieu Amalric, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Saoirse Ronan, Harvey Keitel, and many more, including a slew of Anderson regulars, among them Owen Wilson and Bill Murray.
One of the most striking things about the trailer is the aspect ratio (that is, the dimensions of the image): It appears to be 4:3 (or 1.33:1) throughout. Anderson reportedly shot the movie in three different aspect ratios, 1.33, 1.85, and 2.35:1, as is explained in Matt Zoller Seitz’s new book, The Wes Anderson Collection. “The movie jumps through three time periods,” the book explains, and “the different aspect ratios tell viewers where they are in the timeline.” Anderson told Seitz that he had always wanted to shoot a movie in the old 1.33:1 ratio, for “the tallness” of it. “We considered shooting Tenenbaums that way,” he says, “because the house is vertical.”
I didn’t spot the two other aspect ratios in the trailer, but I can’t wait to see what all three look like on the big screen. The movie is scheduled to open in March.
Update: You may want to play Wes Anderson Bingo with this trailer. I am told at least a dozen different elements from that game can be spotted in the two and a half minutes of this trailer.