‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’: Ranking the Best Wes Anderson Movie Trailers
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
“She was dynamite in the sack, by the way.”
“She was 84.”
“I’ve had older.”
This little exchange between Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), a saucy concierge at a renowned European hotel, and Zero Moustafa (newcomer Tony Revolori), his new lobby boy, is one of the many winning bits of the new trailer for Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, which will be released by Fox Searchlight on March 7, 2014. The trailer also features a plethora of amazing mustaches, sported by Fiennes and supporting players Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jude Law, Owen Wilson, and Jason Schwartzman, a symphony of face-punching, a shoot-out, octogenarian Tilda Swinton, Murray beckoning someone to a getaway car, and some ace guitar pickin’. It looks like a cross between Clue and North by Northwest, and, like all of the films in Anderson’s oeuvre, exquisitely composed. It is, without question, the best Anderson trailer to date.
2. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
“They were brilliant. They were famous. The were unlucky enough to be the children of Royal Tenenbaum.”
You really can’t beat narration by the gravelly voice of Alec Baldwin, can you? The trailer features some great music, courtesy of everyone from Simon and Garfunkel to The Ramones, and provides just enough of a taste of the film to keep you guessing, including Royal’s (Gene Hackman) shenanigans with his son’s (Ben Stiller) tracksuit-wearing kids, and a great credits sequence. The only downsides, really, are the dearth of Anjelica Huston shots and the type on the screen.
3. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
“Swamp leeches… everybody check for swamp leeches!”
“I’m the only one that got hit? What’s the deal??”
Narrated by Willem Dafoe, this is one heck of a trailer and contains Anderson’s trademark stylistic flourishes—montage, quick cuts, swirling camera—as well as some great tunes, including New Order’s “Ceremony.” The film was inspired by Anderson’s reverence for Jacques Cousteau, whom he’s name-checked in a few of his films, including Rushmore. And it features plenty of great Bill Murray lines, which is always a good thing.
4. Rushmore (1998)
“War does funny things to men.”
This is a classic example of a trailer overplaying its hand, giving away too many crucial scenes of the actual film—from industrialist Herman Blume (Bill Murray) strangling his irritating ginger twins in his Rolls Royce to Max Fischer’s (Jason Schwartzman) elaborate stage productions. It’s still a hell of a trailer, thanks to the music, which includes a Dylan tune, as well as Creation’s “Making Time,” which serves as one of the film’s de facto theme songs.
5. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
“How can a train be lost? It’s on rails!”
The trailer really highlights how beautifully shot the film is. I still feel Slumdog Millionaire stole some shots from this flick, but that’s neither here nor there. The Kinks’ “This Time Tomorrow” is the perfect song for the proceedings, it features dazzling close-ups of its three central cast members—Jason Schwartzman, Adrien Brody, and Owen Wilson—and ends perfectly with a line by Anjelica Huston. But alas, it’s missing a bit of that trademark Anderson flair, including the cast intro montage.
6. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
“He does watercolors. Mostly nudes.”
Perhaps it’s down to the overall pacing of the film, which is probably the most deliberate of Anderson’s oeuvre, but for some reason this trailer comes off a little mediocre. It does feature Bruce Willis giving some great face, and ends on a crackling, brass section-backed montage, but still feels a little stale. Although it does contain the best Bill Murray line in the film, featuring him shirtless, wielding a bottle of wine and an axe.
7. The Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
“His life is fantastic.”
This is a pretty disappointing trailer from Team Anderson, especially considering it happened in the pretty recent past. It’s pedestrian in every way, featuring generic voiceover narration, silly type on the screen (see above), and betrays the deadpan humor of the film, making it come across like a screwball comedy.
8. Bottle Rocket (1996)
“I really want to be a part of this team… and I’m the only one with a car.”
“That’s good… ‘cause that hits me right here.”
Anderson’s trailer game has definitely improved over the years, as evidenced by the movie trailer for his excellent debut feature, Bottle Rocket. This one employs one of those ubiquitous—and terribly clichéd—trailer voiceover specialists to narrate, and is a little bit all over the map in turns of scene selection and tone. But hey, it was the first go.