The Grand Budapest Hotel

Even if you’ve never seen a Wes Anderson movie, you’ve probably seen the American Express commercial he made in 2004, which was ubiquitous on American TV: between takes on a movie set the hip young director marches around giving instructions to his actors, noting the makeup job on a geisha character, conferring with his prop man on a suitable weapon for a scene (“Can you do a .357 with a bayonet?”), and putting a $15,000 helicopter rental on his AmEx before he seats himself on a camera crane and floats heavenward. This giddy episode always reminds me of that old Orson Welles saw, in which he referred to the RKO studio lot as “the biggest train set a boy ever had.” The primary appeal of Anderson’s movies is this very sense of a spoiled kid having the time of his life. Continue reading >>