Let me preface this with a disclaimer: I'm a huge fan of Anderson. Although I own nearly all of his movies though, this is my first time seeing one of his work's on the big screen. If you can, you need to allow yourself this pleasure. Anderson, as always, lays meticulous care into every detail of every shot and the scope of of Budapest needs to be seen in theaters to fully appreciate it.
Budapest is about a bygone era which focuses on the lives of an inimitable concierge (played by Ralph Fiennes in his first such role) and the lobby boy he takes on as his protege and later confidante (played by newcomer Tony Revolori). I won't reveal what unfolds, because that's half the fun.
Of course there's a whole cadre of cast members to commend in this movie. Sitting in a responsive audience, there was an appreciative laugh every time a well-known Wes Anderson comrade made his appearance on the screen. Keep your eyes peeled for a very brief and easy-to-miss cameo by George Clooney as well. Anderson is well aware of what and who the audience expects of him, and he flaunts it in this movie, giving each actor a deliberate entrance. Old faces aside, the movie is carried on the acting shoulders of two Anderson newcomers -- the surprisingly funny and delightful Ralph Fiennes and the poker-faced yet endearing Tony Revolori. Fiennes is pitch perfect as the winning, put-together gentleman concierge whose rare bursts of passion are all the more surprising and humorous because of what a contrast they are from his usual character.
Similarly, Anderson's rare deviations from his usual surprise and have more of an impact on us as an audience because they're a contrast. Overall though, expect to see all the trademarks of Wes Anderson - long tracking shots, theatrical cuts, candy-coated sets, and humorously dry dialogue. Even if the thought of a typical Wes Anderson film deters you, give it a try and you may find yourself surprised. Wes Anderson's carefully crafted ridiculousness fits this tragicomic crime genre and the mystery hijinks like a glove. It's almost as if Wes Anderson has heard and understood what people criticize him for and made this movie so over the top that it's a parody of himself.
There's not a flat note in this feature otherwise. Wes Anderson's craft is something that only improves with time and experience and this movie, shot by shot, reinforces that.