The first “half” of the film is completely untouchable, up until the two leads are “caught” I think claims of “best work thus far” are reasonable, at this point the film is very intimate and very focused filled with both otherworldly charm and “realism” all at once.
Later on a couple of things I could do without, such as Ed Norton’s CGI jump to rescue Harvey Keitel, or the weird lightning bolt moment, a few questionable choices here and there pushed the film a little “too far” away from what he had going earlier. Being charming and playful is one thing, but where is the line between cute and annoying? Certainly many of Wes Anderson detractors find a lot of his elements more on the “annoying” side, I firmly do not, but I do question a few of these more “extreme” moments.
Still, minor gripes, and that first half… mesmerizing. I’ll need to see it again before stacking it up to his previous films.