It takes wisdom to build a house, and understanding to set it on a firm foundation; It takes knowledge to furnish its rooms with fine furniture and beautiful draperies. It’s better to be wise than strong; intelligence outranks muscle any day. Strategic planning is the key to warfare; to win, you need a lot of good counsel. –Proverbs 24:3-6
Wes Anderson continues to be on top of his game. His style, always evolving but never abandoning what makes it his, has become a staple of high quality aesthetic in the modern film world. While this is one of the aspects that continually draws me in to his films, the heart of each is what causes me to realize he’s one of the premier filmmakers working today. And it’s in the heart of each of his films that they put their range on display – where each of his films becomes completely unique.
Much of the film is a wit-filled hilarious mystery full of turns in the plot and an interesting whodunit approach. It moves quickly but sleekly and Ralph Fiennes absolutely nails the tone of what this film’s protagonist needed to be. Where the film soars, though, is its approach to the evolution of Fiennes and his lobby boy’s relationship as employer/employee to mentor/mentee to father/son. The change is gradual, natural, and is somehow emotionally impactful while staying true to the silly tone of the film, heightened at the scene where Fiennes meets his lobby boy’s girlfriend and goes into full ‘father mode’. Another great relationship from a man who is more famous for his style than anything. 8.75/10