last night i was lucky enough to see an advanced screening of Wes Anderson’s new film The Grand Budapest Hotel as part of the Design Indaba Film Festival. now, i must admit that i was pretty disappointed by his last film Moonrise Kingdom, so i didn’t get too psyched about this one. in fact, the trailer made me doubt the film just a little bit (another reason not to watch trailers, ever!) so i went in pretty excited – because it IS Wes Anderson after all – but wasn’t about to get my hopes up.

and now i can tell you: this is his BEST movie since The Royal Tenenbaums (one of my favourite films ever). in my humble opinion, of course. it is absolutely beautiful to watch, i don’t think that any of his films has impressed me as much on a visual scale. the setting is unique. the story is just wonderful, and i was actually on the edge of my seat at many moments as it unfolded (what’s going to happen!) the actors are brilliantly cast: Ralph Fiennes made me forget that he was ever Voldemort. Tony Revelori is a delight, Willem Dafoe is menacing, Tilda Swinton is unrecognisable, Jeff Golblum is Jeff Golblum. but above all, it’s dark in parts – so dark in fact that i was quite surprised. some moments elicited audible gasps from the audience.

i walked out grinning from ear to ear, and i wanted to watch it again. again, again! that hasn’t happened in a while. so, go see it when it comes out near you. it is releasing in the US on 7 March and in SA on 20 March.

also be sure to travel through the interactive website for the film, it is a dream. and the film’s dedicated tumblr.

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  1. The fingers! Bleugh. I haven’t quite decided what I thought of it all yet but it was certainly beautiful and the casting was a pleasure.

  2. It was at the Sedona Film Festival a couple weeks ago, it really is visually stunning & well casted. I didn’t love the Royal Tenenbaum’s, but I do enjoy his films & the cinematography.

  3. The decapitated head TERRIFIED me. Also, what’s his fascination with fingers being cut off? I loved how pink this movie was, and the humor that broke the menacing moments. Love love loved it too!

  4. Can’t wait for the movie to be released in Germany on Thursday! I am quite the Wes Anderson fan, which makes me curious as to what about “Moonrise Kingdom” wasn’t your cup of tea. Was it the characters? The story? I would love to know!

  5. How were you disappointed by Moonrise Kingdom?? The scene where they are camped out on the beach together and dancing – is so perfect. I felt that his films have gotten better and better with each new film. Fantastic Mr Fox is my favourite though. I am dubious about The Grand Budapest Hotel after seeing the trailer also. I’m still excited to see it though!!

    • it was probably one of my least favourite films of his, but i didn’t hate it. i just felt like it didn’t hold up against his other stories. maybe it was just TOO twee for me.

      if i had to rate them from favourite to least favourite (i don’t dislike any of his films):

      1. royal tenenbaums / Rushmore (can’t choose, they are equally great for different reasons)
      2. the grand budapest hotel
      3. fantastic mr. fox
      4. life aquatic
      5. moonrise kingdom
      6. darjeeling limited

      (haven’t included bottle rocket)

  6. I cannot wait! The Royal Tenenbaums is my favourite Wes Anderson movie and Moonrise Kingdom my least, so I am beyond excited that you share the same views and loved it. Although I have to say, Darjeeling Limited is my second favourite. I skipped through also me of the images because I feel like if I see too many (between this and Dazed&Confused and Paste magazine’s coverage) I will know everything before going in. But after I am looking forward to reliving it though these images

    • good idea – these days i never read / look at anything before watching a movie. i try to avoid trailers, too.

  7. I am so eager to see this movie!! Thank you for sharing the cute interactive images, and for the link to the interactive website – SO COOL. I’m thrilled you are as excited as I am. Interesting that Darjeeling Limited was your least favourite – I just love all the India scenes, especially the train rides! I had to watch it again after actually traveling through Rajasthan by train (where the movie was mostly filmed).

    • yes i think perhaps i would see that movie differently when i do eventually travel to India (one day!)

  8. I am so incredibly jealous of you. This has been on my ‘must-see-right-now-or-else’ list for too long.

    It’s great to hear that Wes isn’t about to let any of his fans down. Hip hip hooray!

  9. I saw this this week and absolutely loved it – totally agree with you, it was the best since The Royal Tenenbaums! And such a treat for the eyes, so beautifully shot. Definitely one I want to see again and again!
    Love the blog design by the way!

  10. I’m very late to this party but wanted to comment anyway. Finally saw the film on DVD this week and LOVED it!! I was kind of weary of Wes Anderson films after Darjeeling, but I agree this film is one of his best. I remembered your post and just wanted to chime in with the love. :)

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