Based on its reliably quirky trailer and hilarious teasers, Wes Anderson’s new film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is loaded with the idiosyncratic filmmaker’s trademark charm. Of course, an essential part of Anderson’s style is whimsical, impeccably curated music, and Budapest more than delivers on that front: The soundtrack, composed by the Oscar-nominated Alexandre Desplat, is streaming now at Pitchfork.
Desplat added his distinctive musical touch to Anderson’s previous two films, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Moonrise Kingdom. His work on The Grand Budapest Hotel is equally excellent: Across 32 tracks, Desplat blends orchestral elements with keyboard instruments and ambient drones, weaving together eclectic variations of a few central melodic themes. Highlights include the brooding flamenco guitars of “Overture: M. Gustave H,” the brooding church organs of “Last Will and Testament,” the bizarre musical box interlude “Up the Stairs / Down the Hall,” the percussive sprawl of “A Dash of Salt (Ludwig’s Theme)” and the creepy haunted-house piano stylings of “Mr. Moustafa.”
Meanwhile, the moment that most loudly screams “Wes Anderson soundtrack” is the baroque-styled “Concerto for Lute and Plucked Strings I. Moderato,” with its stately harpsichords and strings. (Also, spoiler alert: There’s a piece titled “The Cold-Blooded Murder of Deputy Vilmos Kovacs.”)
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson’s eighth feature film, hits theaters on March 7th. It stars Ralph Fiennes alongside frequent Anderson collaborators Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody and Jeff Goldblum.