Wes Anderson’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ Gets a New Trailer

Back in 2012 we were all swept away by Moonrise Kingdom’s whimsical meditation on first love. And since, we’ve been anticipating what Wes Anderson would give us with his next ensemble feature, The Grand Budapest Hotel.  Starring  Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Lea Seydoux, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Murray and Owen Wilson, the film follows:

…the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.

The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune — all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent.

And now you can meet its cast of characters in a new trailer for the feature below.

grand-budapest-hotel-poster

FashionFeed: Adrien Brody Walks for Prada, Models Flash for Lingerie

● Actor Adrien Brody has been tapped to walk in Prada’s menswear show this Sunday in Milan, among other international movie stars. Can you guess the rest? [Telegraph]

● As a publicity stunt and a great treat for museum goers, France’s answer to Victoria’s Secret, Etam, sent three models into the Musee d’Orsay in Paris to run around in the brand’s new line of lingerie. [Styleite]

● The February issue of French Vogue features 60 pages of one of editor-in-chief Emmannelle Alt’s favorite models, Daria Werbowy. [The Cut]

● Here’s a video of Alexa Chung in Williamsburg modeling in Vero Moda’s covetable clothing that doesn’t even ship to the US.  [R29]

● Lanvin’s adorable 25-piece children’s line is making us want to turn the clock back more than ever. [Style]

● Madonna revealed on the Graham Norton show that her kids "don’t fear her at all" and that her daughter Lourdes even creeps into her room and steals her clothes. Who’s the rebel now, Madge? [Grazia]

That’s Quite A Cast There, ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’

So, today we learned a lot of new things about Wes Anderson’s early-20th-century European romp, The Grand Budapest Hotel, which now has a distributor (Anderson fans Fox Searchlight) and something of a plot. In addition to IMDb’s lone sentence about the tribulations of Mr. Gustave, "the hotel’s perfectly-composed concierge," Screen Daily has a bit more substantial information. 

 

"The Grand Budapest Hotel tells of a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars and his friendship with a young employee who becomes his trusted protégé. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting, the battle for an enormous family fortune and the slow and then sudden upheavals that transformed Europe during the first half of the 20th century."

Wartime friendships? A dysfunctional family? Curious protégés of crazy rich white dudes? Stolen art? Did I mention a dysfunctional family? This is sounding pretty Wes-tacular. But even more characteristically Wes Anderson is the cast, which includes all his favorite pals, and a lot of other marquee names that will probably make this post read like it was done just for SEO purposes.

Returning Anderson-movie alumni include Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel, Jeff Goldblum and Willem Dafoe, as well as (deep breath) Jude Law, Ralph Fiennes, Tom Wilkinson, Bob Balaban, Saoirse Ronan, Mathieu Amalric, F. Murray Abraham and Tony Revolori. Whew. That’s a lot of people. That’s, like, more than are going to fit on one movie poster. Is there going to be some kind of Hunger Games to determine who gets marquee billing or are they going to try and fit everyone? Wow.

[via Indiewire]

Adrien Brody & Tony Kaye Discuss Their New Film ‘Detachment’

Tony Kaye and Adrien Brody make a perfect coupling: an acclaimed Oscar-winner known for taking on difficult and harrowing roles and one of Hollywood’s most controversial directors who makes films that not only brutally inform but possess. With their new film, Detachment, they both prove their immense strength in their craft, creating a powerful film that challenges one’s emotional strength and enlightens. The film tells the story of Henry Barthes, a downtrodden substitute teacher who takes a temporary position at a high school in shambles. Barthes, a somber man plagued by flashbacks of his mother’s suicide, is an empathetic and gifted teacher, desperately trying to connect to his students while dealing with his dying grandfather and the teenage prostitute he’s taken in. Shot by Kaye himself, the film cuts between the narrative, interviews with Barthes, and morose animated blackboard drawings used to illustrate everyone’s darker urges. It’s a scathing portrayal of the public school system as well as one man’s story to find meaning in a vicious world. We caught up with Brody and Kaye to find out what drew them to this film, their shared desire for a deeper sense of entertainment, and the state of Hollywood today.

How did you come across the script and why did you decide to do it?
Tony Kaye: I was just attracted to the language of it. When I look at scripts, I’m quite visual in a sense, and I look at the pages and through all the speeches. I like that kind of thing. When I see great big chunks, I think, This is good! If I see loads of pages where there’s just one line here or one line there, I’m not very interested. Of course, that’s a stupid and idiotic thing to say, but when I read it, the poetics of the language of Carl [Lund]’s script really made me want to try and get this film made — and I spent five years trying to get the film made. It gave me the opportunity to tell a story about a character, one in particular which I like. I prefer those kinds of movies to ensemble casts, although we do have that here. It’s definitely a glossary about the character of Henry Barthes.
Adrien Brody: [I was attracted to] its intensity and its relevance to the importance of education. The importance of kindness and patience are things that are easy to forget with all of the other pressures that we have in life. My father was a public school teacher and a great one at that, so I partially did this as an homage to him and how valuable that is. Not only how much it shaped me and my life, but also what a contribution it is.

How did you know that you wanted Adrien for the role?
TK: Oh, that was a lucky break. I mean, there’s no such thing as something just happening or it being just “luck.” Our paths collided, and we got on tremendously as people, and we trusted each other and both appreciated each other’s style of working. The collaboration between the two of us is what set the tempo. He knew and he believed me that I was going to make the movie entirely about him. A director’s interpretation of a script can sometimes change the entire thing.

Was there something about your character that drew you to him?
AB: I was attracted to a number of things. First of all, I wanted to work with Tony. He had such an interesting, colorful past and is so unusual, so I knew it was going to be an interesting experience. He’s wonderful to work with — incredibly collaborative and creative. And the writing was so good. Carl Lund wrote a beautiful script, and unfortunately it’s hard to find meaningful stuff out there.

Did you see yourself in your character at all?
AB: Yeah, of course. I am fortunately less volatile than he is, but I can relate to anger and frustration and that simmering beneath the surface.

What I found interesting about him was that he was so damaged and he had so much pain, but he allowed himself to have those emotions.
AB: Well, he is closed off He’s so broken and fragile and teetering on collapse, yet, at the same time, he’s compelled to share and inspire. I’m sure he sees many parallels between himself and the broken children that he has to provide some guidance for. What I love about it is, although he reluctantly does all this, that’s what saves him; his generosity saves himself because if he just remained isolated and shut off from it all he’d wither away.

Tony, your films are always so socially conscious and mix entertainment with some greater meaning or enlightenment. I understand why it’s important to do films of this nature and give something that’s more than just entertainment, but what’s your perspective on it? 
TK: The purpose of living and the only way we can exist in any form is to try and bring light to help mankind in some way — to be proactive. I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to, in a manner of speaking, live out this dream of being a communicator of sorts. I hope this is now given me a career — that I can regularly make movies one after the other now. Whatever they may be, I’m looking for the importance. Not to preach, but to try and engage and make somebody — in this case, some really bright kid — want to teach or help somebody.

Adrien, as an actor, do you feel the need to tell these sort of stories — to do something socially relevant that’s not just entertaining?
AB: Yes. Not a responsibility in the sense that I have to because, you know, I don’t feel somebody else has to. If they’re an actor, they do whatever they want to do. If you’re a songwriter, you can sing whatever you want to sing about. What inspires me is something a bit more meaningful than entertainment. And I also really appreciate what I’ve learned from being asked to represent such meaningful and significant things that have affected us historically. It’s changed my whole level of awareness and outlook as a man, my appreciation for my own good fortune, and our blessed lives and the degree of freedom we have here as Americans. It’s an amazing thing, and you only gain that insight from deeply immersing yourself in other people’s struggles. Unless you’re studying abroad [and immersed in] those cultures, it’s very hard to gain that by just reading about it or picking up a magazine article. But if you’ve forced yourself into a place that is unpleasant, you can tell it more faithfully and can also come back to your life with a greater awareness and empathy.

Tony, do you try not to impose your own point-of-view and step away to give a broad overview of the subject that you’re covering, or do you think it’s important to put your own view in there as well?
TK: I believe in trying to be a cause and not an effect. My choice in being a cause is to often be upset. My point-ofview is not relevant; my point-of-view is only relevant in terms of the quality of acting — that’s my choice. I didn’t write it, I’m not the actor. With Lake of Fire, my second film, I made a movie about the abortion debate in the United States, and I have a massive feeling and choice about what I think is right in that zone, but it’s of no importance other than that I chose to spend 16 years working on it. My choice is to be something that light goes through, and then I channel it in the best and most graphic way that I possibly can.

Adrien, did you spend time in schools for the role?
AB: We were in a public school, and I went to public school so it brought back a lot of memories. It’s like a bad smell; you end up remembering so much from it. You shoot in a relatively drab school, sitting in a classroom as you wait and study your lines, and a few people from the administration are there and the janitor, and the series of urinals. It just brings it all back.

How long were you shooting for?
AB: Twenty days. It was hard. It’s a short amount of time, and it’s challenging to make great films in 20 days. There’s no room for error.

When you have that short amount of time you really have to become your character. When you go home at night, how do you not carry your character’s struggle with you? 
AB: I don’t intentionally try and stay in character, but if you have a great deal of material to absorb and specifics and style of writing that you have to be careful with, you have to study. You work very long hours and then come home, and there’s really no time to do much else. You’re basically immersed in it the whole time. I spent a lot of time alone with that and [being] silent. It’s intense it’s like a mediation or something, it’s very weird.

There were so many themes and issues and really hard-hitting, penetrating moments in the film. Were you worried at all, Tony, that it felt a little a heavy at times?
TK: It’s a real onslaught, but I tried to make it as poetic and as beautiful to make it palatable. I didn’t show anything; I just intuit.

Adrien, you and Sami Gayle have such a great chemistry together. Did you spend a lot of time together before you shot?
AB: No, no. She just possesses a wonderful fearlessness and enthusiasm and emotional intelligence that’s rare for a young girl. She’s so focused, and it was easy to collaborate with her.

There’s a hopefulness to it but there’s just so much pain in it also. Did you feel that way when you first read the script?
AB: Oh yeah, I cried when I first read the script. It’s very sad. There’s a slim little crack to get that light through all of that bleakness, but you need that. You need to show a relatively dark depiction of all this or you don’t awaken the understanding that you need to make some changes and do better.

Tony, why did you choose to include the interludes of animations?
TK: It’s a very disjointed, very dysfunctional, and very chaotic assemblage which is not too different from life — that was my choice. I thought that the blackboard should speak, that it should say something. I have a sort of massive apprenticeship; I’ve made eight billion TV commercials and hundreds of music videos, but I haven’t been making movies. I’ve been working with the techniques of motion picture and sound for 30 years, so I have a lot of tricks I can do so I wanted to use them. [With Detachment], I just needed to throw everything and the kitchen sink to the wall.

Adrien, what was your reaction the first time you saw the film completed? There’s all the animations and different things throughout it that shape it.
AB: I’m very impressed with Tony. I’m very moved by the film, and it was very brave and unusual filmmaking. That doesn’t really exist much today. I don’t know a film that’s like this. It’s great to be a part of that and I think he made a wonderful, honest, and proactive film.

Why do you think there’s not much room for this sort of film today?
AB: People produce movies because it’s a business, and you want a safe return on your investment. You can make things that are in-your-face and challenging and force the audience to think, and it’s unpredictable. It takes a certain degree of bravery to want to make movies like that. I think that’s the big issue, and that’s why there are so many very superficial movies out there. It’s easier to appeal to a mass audience and not require much thought and it’s a safer return on the investment. It’s a challenge to have art and commerce meet and find that balance and have a greater impact rather than just creating entertainment.

Tony, how do you find that things have changed greatly since you began filmmaking? 
TK: Things have definitely changed — there’s the internet, better special effects, and the ability now to make a life-like character on the screen without using a human being. But it was my passion and my choice to turn my back on all that. I’ve been left behind a little bit by some of my peers who have all become massively, incredibly well-known movie-makers. My choice was not to do any tricks, but to focus on the camera and the performances of people involved. That was my canvas I decided to work with many, many years ago. I’ve been overtaken by all these things, but with the success — however small — of Detachment, hopefully when other actors see the great performances from Adrien, Sami Gayle, Lucy Lu, and James Caan, to name a few, I’m praying they’ll think, Well I wouldn’t mind working with this guy.

There was so much controversy surrounded American History X and it’s become a film that everyone knows and appreciates–how do you feel about now that so much time has passed.
TK: I gave everything I had to that movie. I put in my own money and went bankrupt as a result of that film for my own crazy actions. But my biggest upset was that I fell out with the lead actor. And it was my fault. It was a desire for myself and myself alone. I just felt so embarrassed and ashamed by that, and I kind of went mad. I couldn’t understand it. In a way I’m very proud of what we did, and why shouldn’t I be? It’s lasted and it’s still current. If it came out this week, it would be good. In fact, if it came out this week it would be better than it was then because it would not seem like a big budget movie. It was a 10-million-dollar film. It was a big-budget movie but was still made and built in a very gritty and realistic way. Movies weren’t like that then when it came out. So I’m very proud of it and it made me even more determined not to make the same mistakes.

‘Detachment’ Pits Adrien Brody vs. the Education System

The public school system has always been a reliable reservoir of liberal angst, what with the low funding and the casually coded racism/classism and completely tangled burueaucracy. There’s a lot to get mad about! Detachment, starring Oscar winner Adrien Brody, will attempt to put a personal face on that frustration. Brody plays a substitute teacher trying to avoid connecting to his students, which becomes difficult when he’s placed at a school where everything is farkakte. Directed by American History X‘s Tony Kaye, it seems an easy bet to provoke something out of your ooey-gooey moviegoing heart.

You know what’s a good sign things aren’t going to turn out so nicely? The trailer opens with Isiah Whitlock Jr. (scuzzy politician Clay Davis on The Wire) giving a syrupy speech about how underappreciated teachers are. There’s not much else to say: the photography looks good, the actors look emotive, it swells and cuts in the right places and there’s a nice credit sequence where you can gawk at all the big names involved (James Caan!). Why not?

Most notably, it’ll try to reactivate Kaye’s dormant career, as he hasn’t had any big projects since American History X. Though this trailer shows some similar bursts of pretension ("A Tony Kaye Talkie, really?) it’ll be interesting to see what he’s got to say. You might remember this interview with The Telegraph from a few years ago in which he talked at length about how he fell out of favor with Hollywood following the success of AHX. "Listen," he told them. "I did a lot of very insane things. A lot of very, very, very insane things." Oh word?

Detachment comes out in theaters on March 16th, but it’ll be available via iTunes on February 24.

Adrien Brody & More Walk The Runway for Prada

“It’s about power. But it started with the idea of characters,” Miuccia Prada told The New York Times backstage during her fashion show today in Milan.  Who better then to help her show off her Fall-Winter 2012/2013 menswear collection than a bunch of Hollywood celebrities?

Adrien Brody, Willem Defoe, Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, Emile Hirsch and Jamie Bell walked down the carpet which was laid out in a palazzo mosaic like a game of chess.  Brody wore a red coat, Oldman black, while the rest wore similar styles paired with wire-rimmed sunglasses tucked in the breast pocket.

They look like a crew of old school dandies. Paging Wes Anderson to look at these pics and immediately get started on a script to incorporate the looks. 

Pros and Cons of ‘Predators’

Last night, against my will, I was dragged to see the new Predators movie with Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, and Laurence Fishburne. After 106 minutes of stewing in disbelief that this movie was actually made, I compiled a list of ‘Cons.’ My movie-going partner, who’s been a fan of the original Governator-starring Predator since 1987, was somehow watching the same movie and came up with a list of ‘Pros’. Two different perspectives after the jump. Spoiler alert.

Pros: -It had great references to and drew on imagery from the the first Predator. -The Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) cameo was fantastic. –That 70’s Show guy (Topher Grace) was awesomely creepy. -There’s a new breed/species of a more-advanced Predator creature in this one. -The chain machine is back (from the first movie). -The dialogue is just as complex and deep as in the first movie. -There is a great ninja fight scene with samurai swords.

Cons: -The whole human-hunting thing on a game preserve reminds me of John Leguizamo’s terrible ’90s movie, The Pest. -Wait, where’s Schwarzenegger? -It takes way too long for the Predators to appear. This tactic doesn’t build suspense, it encourages boredom and forced me to focus on the bogus dialogue. -Adrien Brody is not believable as a jacked-up, muscular, ex-mercenary leading man. I don’t buy it, Robert Rodriguez. Was Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson busy or something? -People keep saving Topher Grace and then being killed themselves. That doesn’t make sense. Topher doesn’t even have a knife, he’s just dead weight. Unrealistic. -Alice Braga makes the tie-in to the first movie by sobbingly admitting to the group that she knows what the Predators are, thanks to a massacre in her home country of Guatemala. We could have figured it out on our own. Yawn. -After Predator 2, Alien vs. Predator, and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem , it’s high time to put this one to bed. But, no, of course, the ending of this one leaves room for plenty more Predator installments for years to come.

‘Splice’ Director Vincenzo Natali on His New Film and the Future of ‘Neuromancer’

Director Vincenzo Natali has been making inventive movies for decades, but none managed to capture his audience’s imagination the way his sci-fi thriller Cube did, back 1997. That all changed when Splice premiered at Sundance, shocking audiences. Warner Bros. decided it was a movie people needed to see and are giving it a nationwide release on June 4th. In it, Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley play unusually good-looking geneticists who let their ambitions get the better of them when they create Dren, a strangely beautiful creature of mixed human and animal DNA. Things get wacky, and, well, you’ll have to see the thing to find out what we mean by that. It’s by far Natali’s biggest movie (Guillermo del Toro is a producer), and things are only looking up for the director, who’s slated to helm the long-in-gestation adaptation of Neuromancer. Here he is on the status of that project, the strange experiment that inspired Splice, and taking things too far.

What about science fiction first attracted you to the genre? It’s just been a life-long obsession. I consider my life to be very dull, so I was always attracted to fantasy of various kinds. Star Wars was a huge influence on me. My mom used to take me to this old theater when I was a kid, where every Tuesday they would have a Universal horror film. So I remember seeing the original Frankenstein and the original Bride of Frankenstein in a movie theater and those films always stayed with me. They’re definitely part of the DNA of Splice, for sure.

It seems so natural that Guillermo del Toro is one of the producers. How did he get involved? I met Guillermo at a film festival and he expressed a desire to produce a film for me, which I was very happy about because I was a tremendous fan of his work. I immediately thought of Splice, which was a script I already had and that had been gathering dust on my shelf in my office. I felt intuitively that he would respond to the theme of the creature—of discovering humanity in the creature— and just thought it would appeal to him, and it did. He was wonderful. He’s basically Dren’s godfather. He really helped shepherd her into the world and he lent us his name, which opened a lot of doors and legitimized what we were doing. I see him as the great impresario of fantastic art. I think he’s done this for me and for many other people as well.

I understand that your point of inspiration was the Vacanti mouse experiment. The Vacanti mouse was such a shocking image because it was basically a naked mouse with what appeared to be a human ear growing out of its back. It wasn’t a real ear. In fact, it wasn’t even a genetic experiment, but it was such a powerful image, and I think part of its power came from how vulnerable the mouse looked. I immediately identified with it. I really felt for it. It was speaking to some pretty strange avenues that are now opening up to us with the advent of this new technology, so I really think from its very earliest stages, Splice always put the emphasis, the emotional connection, on the creature. We were always going to be suspect and dubious of the humans and, in fact, in the making of this creature, we discover the monster lurking within the humans. In other words, I never thought this should be a story of a monster going on the loose and wreaking havoc and killing people. That was just not the story I wanted to tell. I was much more interested in how the people would end up smothering their own creation. It becomes kind of a hostage story. That’s the road we followed. So the mouse was a very influential mouse.

I read that George Charames, your technical consultant on genetics, actually said that this type of experimentation is occurring clandestinely around the world, that these human-hybrid chimeras were being created. Do you think that’s true? Well, they are. They absolutely are. Not like what we have in the film, but in the UK they legalized the creation of human-animal chimeras for medical research. They destroy them after, I don’t know, a few days or a week or something, so they never go beyond the embryo stage. That’s what Clive and Elsa at the start of the film plan to do: destroy it before it grows. But it grows a little bit quickly and once it’s born, they don’t have the heart to kill it, so you can easily see how life often trumps the best-laid plans and how things can go horribly, horribly wrong.

You’re currently attached to Neuromancer as both writer and director. Have you already started working on the adaptation? Well, this is another example of technology out of control because I haven’t even signed a deal yet. That information leaked out on the Internet somewhat unexpectedly and it’s just amazing to me how fast it traveled. I mean, now it just seems like common knowledge. It’s amazing. But I have every intention of doing it. I’m very, very excited and honored to be given such a seminal and important book to adapt.

How do you envision creating the Neuromancer universe? Like Splice, I think the way to do it is to make it real. A lot of people will tell you that after The Matrix, there’s no point in making Neuromancer, because The Matrix borrowed so much from the book, and the Wachowskis will be the first to admit this, but I think that’s actually not right. I think The Matrix films were, in the best possible way, comic books, whereas Gibson’s book is a much more serious work of fiction. So I want to make it real. Actually, even though a lot of people have borrowed from it, there’s a lot in there that has not been explored. To me, it’s a treatise about the post-human world. Unlike Splice, it’s not quite as much about physical transformation as it is about the transformation of our consciousness and how we’re going to merge with our machine consciousnesses.

Have you ever talked to William Gibson? Yes. One of the great thrills of my life was when I had a very lively conversation with him on the phone prior to all this happening. He’s everything I hoped he would be. He’s a lovely man and he really supported the idea of me doing the book, so I feel like I got the blessing to move forward. He wrote the script. I’m working from his script and I want to do it with his approval.

You’re also attached to an adaptation of the J. G. Ballard book High Rise, which is more about a devolution, a breakdown of humanity. It sounds like Cronenberg’s Shivers. He [Cronenberg] must have read High Rise before he made the film, the difference being, in High Rise, there’s no parasite or chemical or external force that causes this breakdown. It really comes from within; it’s the psychology of the society. I call it a social disaster film. It’s about a society in collapse, but like all of Ballard’s fiction, it’s somewhat ambiguous. Like, it doesn’t really condemn what’s happening. It doesn’t really couch it within the terms of it being a devolution. It’s more open-ended. I think that what makes Ballard so special is that he is an author of dystopian fiction, but the dystopias may just be a necessary step. You feel like he’s not implying any kind of moral judgment on what’s happening and that’s what makes it rich. That’s what makes it really interesting.

Returning to Splice, were you ever concerned that you were going too far and that you’d lose the audience? Well, I think we do lose some people. That’s the litmus test. There are some people who just can’t go there and that’s fine, because that’s the movie I wanted to make. That’s why I’m so delighted and amazed that the film is getting a mainstream release; it was never intended to be mainstream. It was made as an independent film, but I think that overall, audiences are smarter and more desirous of innovative films than studios often give them credit for. I’m willing to believe that if the film is a success, it will be because it pushes the boundaries of what’s acceptable. And that’s consistent with many of the great films in the horror canon, like you think about Texas Chain Saw Massacre or Alien, these are movies that put things on the screen that shocked people and truly frightened them and I think that’s why people go to see horror films. There’s no question, not everyone will make the leap.

Adrien Brody to Star in Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’

The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Academy Award winning actor Adrien Brody will star in Woody Allen’s upcoming romantic comedy Midnight in Paris, which is set to shoot this summer. THR describes the film as being about “a family traveling to the City of Lights for business,” particularly focusing on “a young engaged couple forced to confront the illusion that a life different from their own is better.” Brody’s character is said to be “flashy.” The impressive cast had already included actors such as Kathy Bates, Michael Sheen, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams, and Brody’s The Darjeeling Limited and Fantastic Mr. Fox co-star Owen Wilson. Color me excited.

Although Woody Allen was plagued by a series of ill-conceived films for much of the 90s and aughts, he has made something of a late career comeback in recent years. Although films such as 2003’s Anything Else and 2004’s Melinda and Melinda were a flop with both critics and audiences, Allen’s taut 2005 thriller Match Point was celebrated as a great return to form and snagged him an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Critics hated Allen’s follow up film, the ramshackle comedy Scoop, but his subsequent movie Cassandra’s Dream was highly praised by The New Yorker’s David Denby. Allen continued this fairly strong run with Vicky Cristina Barcelona, a rapturously received dramatic romance that garnered rave reviews and went on to become one of his most profitable films to date. However, its follow up, Whatever Works, a comedy starring Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm creator Larry David, was given average reviews.

Will Midnight in Paris be another Scoop or another Vicky Cristina Barcelona? We’ll have to wait and see, but, if Allen is working with actors like Brody, I’m optimistic.

Update: Woody Allen’s latest film, You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, is opening to lukewarm reviews at Cannes.