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Watch Wes Anderson narrate an animated version of The Grand Budapest Hotel

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It’s one of many storyboard animatics featured on the new Criterion release

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This April, the Criterion Collection added another one of Wes Anderson’s distinctive films to its library: 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. At the time of its release, the film, which focuses on a mountainside hotel and its staff as war approaches, was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

The new Criterion release boasts a director-supervised 2K digital transfer, audio commentary featuring Anderson, Roman Coppola, and Jeff Goldblum, and more. One of the most striking special features, however, is a set of storyboard animatics narrated by Anderson himself.

The animatics, which add up to about 25 minutes, include “Introduction,” “Washer Woman,” “Killing of Kovacs,” “Prison Escape,” “Gabelmeister’s Peak,” and “Hotel Show-Down.” Fans of the film can now watch the entirety of the first segment, “Introduction,” here on Polygon. The clip goes through the opening of the film via Anderson’s storyboards, with Anderson reading the script over the unfolding animatic.

The complete list of special features available on the Criterion Collection release are as follows:

  • 2K digital transfer, supervised by director Wes Anderson, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary featuring Anderson, filmmaker Roman Coppola, and actor Jeff Goldblum
  • Selected-scene storyboard animatics
  • The Making of “The Grand Budapest Hotel, a new documentary about the film
  • New interviews with the cast and crew
  • Video essays from 2015 and 2020 by critic Matt Zoller Seitz and film scholar David Bordwell
  • Behind-the-scenes, special-effects, and test footage
  • Trailer
  • Two pieces by critic Richard Brody and (with the Blu-ray) a double-sided poster and other ephemera

The Criterion Collection Blu-ray of The Grand Budapest Hotel is out now.


First Cow

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Prices taken at time of publishing.

Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow finally arrives on VOD. The film stars John Magaro and Orion Lee as two men struggling to make their way through the American West, and Evie as the cow who provides them with the milk to begin a small baking business.

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