Trailer for Grand Budapest Hotel Captures What’s Great and Grating About Wes Anderson

Why does racial hierarchy remain a theme?

Wes Anderson is one of the few filmmakers whose trailers are still met with great anticipation and debate, with today being a good example of why.

The first official preview of The Grand Budapest Hotel is packed with everything that makes Anderson a divisive darling of Hollywood and hipsters alike. On pace to rival Robert Altman in terms of celebrity pull, Anderson squeezes an entire film festival's worth of stars into Grand Budapest. The trailer also features plenty of his signature oddities, too, like the antiquated choice of a 4:3 aspect ratio rather than the standard widescreen format.

Most oddly, though, Anderson continues his somewhat awkward theme of minorities working for whites (Pagoda in The Royal Tannenbaums, Vikram Ray in The Life Aquatic, pretty much everyone in The Darjeeling Limited, etc.), with Grand Budapest centering around the mentorship of a boy named Zero Moustafa by Ralph Fiennes' eccentric hotelier, Gustave H.

In a 2007 piece called "Unbearable Whiteness," Slate's Jonah Weiner skewered Anderson for "the clumsy, discomfiting way he stages interactions between white protagonists—typically upper-class elites—and nonwhite foils—typically working class and poor." That interaction definitely seems to be a centerpiece of The Grand Budapest Hotel, but I guess we'll find out on March 15, 2014, whether Anderson has become a bit more refined in his race relations.