Castello Cavalcanti is really precious. It’s precious at the start when–director Anderson is shooting in a studio but it’s an intricately designed street scene in fifties Italy. It’s odd it takes place in the fifties, because Jason Schwartzman’s affected performance seems more appropriate for a thirties setting. At least at the start, he gets better later.
Anyway, Darius Khondji is the photographer so Cavalcanti should look but it doesn’t. It looks fake and all of Anderson’s camera movements point out the lack of reality. It feels more like an Anderson imitator than Anderson himself, down to what seems to be a reference to device he used in Rushmore.
It’s also trite and predictable. The charm is what’s supposed to sell the short and the charm wears thin during Schwartzman’s first rant. By the time he finds the character, the short’s over.
Cavalcanti’s extremely cute, but it’s a pointless exercise.