Will’s review published on Letterboxd:
To me, this is one of those films where I’ve seen it so many times but I still get the rush of excitement and enjoyment I got on my first watch. I’ve also now seen it enough where I know I will never get bored of it. It is easily Wes Anderson’s best film and I’m beyond excited to see The French Dispatch.
By this point, everyone understands the beauty of Wes’ films but this just tops it all. It’s mainly the set design in this that separates itself from his other work. From the miniatures all the way to the grand lobby of the hotel, it is incredible to look at. Every colour is utilised to perfection and provides a visually unique experience. Just the same goes for the costume design. Almost each and every outfit is unique to the character and suits them perfectly. Obviously the cinematography is incredible too. The shot composition is always mind-bogglingly symmetrical and is clearly measured to the finest millimetre.
It’s very easy to get all caught up in the visual side of Wes Anderson’s films but they are usually written fantastically. I know he is somewhat praised as a writer but I don’t think he gets enough of it. He’s under appreciated I think. The characterisation through out is so well done. As soon as you lay eyes on the character and hear them talk, you know exactly who they are and what type of person they are. Especially with this one. It’s so energetic all the way through and the dialogue bounces all over the place through each and every character. It’s so much fun to watch and to listen to.
Something else that needs to be talked about more is the performances in this. Specifically Ralph Fiennes. In fact, he’s not talked about enough in general. He is so versatile yet so over looked. If you looked at his performance in Schindler’s List and than in this, you wouldn’t believe it’s the same person. He is an absolute joy to watch as M. Gustave. He’s extremely witty, looks funny and is cast perfectly. I could go on and on about the other performances and actors in this but it would take way too long. There are too many great actors to mention who made this film even better.