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Wes Anderson, 2014
While CGI studios across the world toil to make animations more lifelike, Wes Anderson’s live-action films become increasingly cartoonish. In this typically larger-than-life caper, Ralph Fiennes is the debonair concierge of a Belle Epoque hotel in Mitteleuropa who gets caught up in a disputed will left by one of the rich old biddies he habitually bonks. Fiennes, oozing patrician charm when not effing and blinding, is best in show among an almost ridiculous crowd of A-listers queuing for cameos. But as always with Anderson, it’s the picture-book art direction that’s the star here. His devotees will swoon; for the rest of us, it’s like staying at a luxury hotel during off-season – all the ornate trappings and trimmings but slightly empty.
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