This isn't so much a review of the film, but rather a love letter to it. A little note to say, "Hey, thanks for being you." For 100 minutes, I was pulled up a cabled tram and delivered to a festooned hotel with the magnificence and charm of something I only thought could exist in my imagination.
Wes made it a reality, though. His other films have had hints of this motif, but it all came together in this one. The hotel and the mountains were actually dioramas that gave such a wonderful playfulness to the locations. I wish I could make a replica of that hotel for my house. I'd display it proudly.
We usually watch all our movies at home and hardly go to the theater anymore. There is an old theater that I used to go to as a kid from the 1960s, though, that just fit so well with this movie. We saw Moonrise Kingdom there a few years ago, so I knew it was the only place to see this film, too. I was going to share the pictures of the theater in this post also, but I decided to break it up into two separate posts, because I wanted a special place set aside just for this film.
It's a rarity I fall so absolutely in love with a movie as I did with this one. I dare say it's his best work yet. His other films have been wonderful and beautiful in only a way he can make them, but this one just felt more epic. It had all the intrigue and interesting characters you'd expect from a novel, but instead of having to dream up your own world, it was all laid out for you. A veritable feast for the eyes.
Perhaps the feeling of it being like a novel has something to do with the fact that the film was based on the writings of Stefan Zweig, a popular writer from the 1920s and 1930s. There's few things I enjoy more than something piquing my interest and then discovering there are books to be read related to it. I can't wait to read them.
I know Wes Anderson's style may not be for everyone, but if you've enjoyed any of his movies in the past, this is a definite can't miss. Run to your local theater now before it's gone, and if it's between a small artsy theater and a multiplex, see it in the small artsy theater. Then tell me what you thought of it!
I've already got our costumes picked out for this Halloween:)