Remember New Coke? If you do, the ’80s called and …
Tom and Anna Wright (James Franco and Kate Hudson) are a financially-struggling American couple giving UK life a try. The money from a robbery-gone-wrong ends up in their basement and they make the ill-fated decision to hold onto it, unaware that the cash will bring two separate criminal gangs and a worn police detective charging into their lives.
More than perhaps any other director, the work of Ernst Lubitsch has been the most noticeable influence on Wes Anderson’s style. Though the great German-American writer-director, most prolific in the 1930s and 1940s, was never quite so aesthetically bold in the look of his sets, he too was preoccupied with meticulous staging for comedy within his chosen locales, be they the titular Shop Around the Corner or the Parisian hotel of Ninotchka; The Grand Budapest Hotel is set in a fictional European country, the Republic of Zubrowka, another Lubitsch trait from works like The Merry Widow and The Love Parade, though The Shop Around the Corner happens to be set in the city Anderson’s mountaintop lodging house takes its name from. He garnered the descriptor of ‘the Lubitsch touch’ thanks to the moving sincerity that always made itself evident within even his more broad comedic premises, and Anderson’s own best work is that in which a recognisable humanism always makes itself known and potent even within the stylised stiltedness through which most of his characters are written and performed.
Ah, period piece films. It’s kind of a silly term if you think about it, since any historical time ever is technically a period, the film itself being the artistic piece of the equation. These films don’t really constitute a genre on their own, and they’re most commonly referring to something in the far past, though certainly not exclusively. Some people hear of a film referred to as a “period piece,” and the first things that come to mind are nobility and dogmatic rulers, oppressed women, and way-paving.