Up until today, every single Wes Anderson film except for two was a member of the acclaimed Criterion Collection, a company dedicated to peerless packaging of classic and contemporary film masterworks on blu-ray. While Isle of Dogs has to spend a few more moments in obedience school before getting the call, Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel has finally made the jump. That film is part of the Criterion Collection’s April 2020 slate — alongside some other great choices.
The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is arguably Anderson’s purest comedy and most sentimental work, stars Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori as a luxury hotel’s concierge and lobby boy, respectively, going on a series of impeccably framed adventures alongside many of Anderson’s favorite actors (Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, et. al). Also checking into the Criterion Collection? Me and You and Everyone You Know, the delightful indie romcom from writer/director/star Miranda July. For old Hollywood charms, you can also see Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart charm the hell out of each other in Destry Rides Again. And if your tastes skew more “super-dark European,” check out the French paranoid masterpiece Army of Shadows and the darkly funny, surreal Czech nightmare of The Cremator.
Full specs and dope cover arts for the April 2020 Criterion Collection titles are below. For more on the luminous label, here’s Barry Jenkins having fun poking around in their film closet. And check out our ranking of every Wes Anderson film, just for fun!
The Grand Budapest Hotel (available April 28)
Wes Anderson brings his dry wit and visual inventiveness to this exquisite caper set amid the old-world splendor of Europe between the World Wars. At the opulent Grand Budapest Hotel, the concierge M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) and his young protégé Zero (Tony Revolori) forge a steadfast bond as they are swept up in a scheme involving the theft of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune—while around them, political upheaval consumes the continent. Meticulously designed, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a breathless picaresque and a poignant paean to friendship and the grandeur of a vanished world, performed with panache by an all-star ensemble that includes F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Saoirse Ronan, Willem Dafoe, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Jeff Goldblum, Mathieu Amalric, Tilda Swinton, and Bill Murray.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
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
PLUS: Two pieces by critic Richard Brody and (with the Blu-ray) a double-sided poster and other ephemera
Me and You and Everyone We Know (available April 28)
With this compassionate, startling comedy that could have come from no other artistic sensibility, the brilliant Miranda July reveals a world both familiar and strange—an original vision of creativity, sexuality, childhood, and loneliness through a series of braided vignettes around a pair of potential lovers: Richard, a newly single shoe salesman and father of two (John Hawkes), and Christine, a lonely video artist and “Eldercab” driver (July). While they take hesitant steps toward romance, Richard’s sons follow their own curiosity toward their first sexual experiences, online and in real life, venturing into uncharted territories in their attempts to connect with others. Playful and profoundly transgressive, Me and You and Everyone We Know is a poetic look at the tortuous routes we take to intimacy in an isolating world, and the moments of magic and redemption that unite us.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
High-definition digital master, approved by director Miranda July, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New documentary about July’s artistic beginnings and the development of her debut feature
Open to the World, a new documentary by July about the 2017 interfaith charity shop and participatory artwork she created in collaboration with Artangel
July Interviews July: Deauville, 2005, a discovery from July’s archives, newly edited
Six scenes from the 2003 Sundance Directors Lab, where July workshopped the film, with commentary by July
The Amateurist (1998) and Nest of Tens (2000), short films by July
Several films from July’s Joanie 4 Jackie project, and a documentary about the program
PLUS: Essays by artist and scholar Sara Magenheimer and novelist Lauren Groff
Destry Rides Again (available April 14)
Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart ride high in this superb comedic western, both a boisterous spoof and a shining example of the genre it is having fun with. As the brawling, rough-and-tumble saloon singer Frenchy, Dietrich shed her exotic love-goddess image and launched a triumphant career comeback, while Stewart cemented his amiable everyman persona, in his first of many westerns, with a charming turn as a gun-abhorring deputy sheriff who uses his wits to bring law and order to the frontier town of Bottleneck. A sparkling script, a supporting cast of virtuoso character actors, and rollicking musical numbers—delivered with unmatched bravado by the magnetic Dietrich—come together to create an irresistible, oft-imitated marvel of studio-era craftsmanship.
New 4K digital restoration by Universal Pictures in collaboration with The Film Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New interview with critic Imogen Sara Smith
New interview with Donald Dewey, author of James Stewart: A Biography
New video essay featuring excerpts from a 1973 oral-history interview with director George Marshall, conducted by the American Film Institute
Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the film from 1945, featuring actors James Stewart and Joan Blondell
PLUS: An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme
The Cremator (available April 21)
Czechoslovak New Wave iconoclast Juraj Herz’s terrifying, darkly comic vision of the horrors of totalitarian ideologies stars a supremely chilling Rudolf Hrušínský as the pathologically morbid Karel Kopfrkingl, a crematorium director in 1930s Prague who believes fervently that death offers the only true relief from human suffering. When he is recruited by the Nazis, Kopfrkingl’s increasingly deranged worldview drives him to formulate his own shocking final solution. Blending the blackest of gallows humor with disorienting expressionistic flourishes—queasy point-of-view shots, distorting lenses, jarring quick cuts—the controversial, long-banned masterpiece The Cremator is one of cinema’s most trenchant and disturbing portraits of the banality of evil.
New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
High-definition digital transfer of The Junk Shop, director Juraj Herz’s 1965 debut short film
Short documentary from 2011 featuring Herz visiting filming locations and recalling the production of The Cremator
New interview with film programmer Irena Kovarova about the style of the film
Documentary from 2017 about composer Zdeněk Liška featuring Herz, filmmakers Jan Švankmajer and the Quay Brothers, and others
Interview with actor Rudolf Hrušínský from 1993
New English subtitle translation
PLUS: An essay by scholar Jonathan Owen
Army of Shadows (available April 7)
The most personal film by the underworld poet Jean-Pierre Melville, who had participated in the French Resistance himself, this tragic masterpiece, based on a novel by Joseph Kessel, recounts the struggles and sacrifices of those who fought in the Resistance. Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel, and the incomparable Simone Signoret star as intrepid underground fighters who must grapple with their conception of honor in their battle against Hitler’s regime. Long underappreciated in France and unseen in the United States, the atmospheric and gripping thriller Army of Shadows is now widely recognized as the summit of Melville’s career, channeling the exquisite minimalism of his gangster films to create an unsparing tale of defiance in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
High-definition digital restoration, supervised by director of photography Pierre Lhomme, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Alternate 2.0 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
Audio commentary from 2006 featuring film scholar Ginette Vincendeau
Interviews from 2007 with Lhomme and editor Françoise Bonnot
On-set footage and excerpts from archival interviews with director Jean-Pierre Melville, cast members, author Joseph Kessel, and real-life Resistance fighters
Jean-Pierre Melville et “L’armée des ombres” (2005), a short program on the director and his film
Le journal de la Résistance (1944), a rare short documentary shot on the front lines during the final days of the German occupation of France
Restoration demonstration by Lhomme
PLUS: An essay by critic Amy Taubin, along with (for the Blu-ray) a piece by historian Robert O. Paxton and excerpts from Rui Nogueira’s Melville on Melville