Wes Anderson is not known for his high volume output of movies as a Director. He tends to be a quality over quantity type of guy, similar to say, a Christopher Nolan. He may be breaking that mold though, as his next film has an outside shot of hitting a late 2013 release date, having been newly acquired by Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Having gained universal acclaim for his latest effort, ‘Moonrise Kingdom,’ Anderson is wasting no time trying to get right back into the Oscar nomination game, to see if he can take it one step further and win the award next year. With the all star cast he has assembled for ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel,’ if the writing is even remotely up to scratch he should certainly be in with a shot.
Looking at said cast, it is clear that most of the roles will be relatively small in screen time terms, but also big in impact, as is often the case with Anderson’s films, and ensemble films in general. That is one of the most effective things about an ensemble, when done correctly, in that you get small doses and short bursts of great acting in a wide variety of styles. This keeps things fresh, and chances are you will connect with at least one of the characters on show, if not more.
The cast includes a host of massive names, including Jude Law, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody, Bill Murray, F. Murray Abraham, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Tom Wilkinson and Jason Schwartzman. That, my fellow movie fans, is RIDICULOUS. This took me far too long to calculate, as I did it manually, and it highlights how little of a real life I have, but I am going to throw a statistic at you. That list alone accounts for 15 Oscar Nominations and 3 wins. I happen to know there are other Oscar nominations floating around in that cast also. So the acting won’t be a problem.
There has been little detail released about the film other than some high level details, but the vibe I get from these early comments definitely scream Academy Award to me. The film centers around a large European hotel concierge called Mr Gustave (who I believe will be played by Ralph Fiennes), and his difficulties in life which all surrounded by a tumultuous early 19th Century Europe, that is caught between two World Wars and multiple cultural changes.
The old formula of having a personal focus on small drama of a single character, surrounded by the backdrop of massive historical events, has always been something that if done well is going to catch the eye of the Academy. With a cast like this, and Wes Anderson’s ability to craft humorous, yet relevant movies which are sad and charming at the same time, I am officially putting ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ on OSCAR WATCH for 2014.
Make a note of that folks. I don’t want anybody claiming I didn’t say it when Wes takes home the hardware. The film is set tentatively for a late 2013 or early 2014 release.