Excepting 'Bottle Rocket' and 'Rushmore,' all of Wes Anderson's films have for me veered dangerously close to overwhelming their substance with style. And perhaps that's penalizing the guy for his own individuality -- because, really, modern cinema doesn't get much more personal than the movies of Wes Anderson, and I do appreciate that -- but I feel he still struggles to find a balance between imbuing his characters and the world they inhabit with his own idiosyncratic bent and also keeping them recognizable and relatable as representations of real human beings. Wreaks havoc with my suspension of disbelief.
That being said, I am very interested to see what he's done with this one. The return to a largely romantic tale after those first two wonderful romances of his certainly plays into my anticipation but moreso the fact that it's set in the 1960s. I think the trailer is gorgeous, everything lit with that honeyed glow, and watching it, I couldn't help but wonder why he hasn't done a period piece before, because it feels like such a perfect fit for his sensibilities as a filmmaker. My hope is that the careful supervision and attention to detail I am sure the 60s-era setting required of the director will redirect some of his characteristic zeal and maybe lessen that overwhelming feeling of monogrammed fastidiousness that mars my opinion of his latter films.
But it always comes down to the writing, doesn't it? If the script isn't there, any stylistic debate becomes moot.