I've never been a huge fan of Wes Anderson's films: the more formalistic and stylized they got, the less they interested me. But I do enjoy stop-motion animation, and it turns out to be a good fit for Anderson's OCD visual style, where he can finally have his characters do exactly as he pleases, because they are literally puppets; in… read more!
Movies Directed by Wes Anderson (in alphabetical order)
At this point, we must accept that Wes Anderson's trademark visual whimsy is no mere affectation but a genuine fixation – as distinct a signature as Roy Lichtenstein's comic bookish Ben-Day dot paintings. And as with Lichtenstein, Anderson's personal challenge with each new feature is how he can adhere to the strict rules of his vision while giving us something… read more!
Can one call this movie anything other than a "confection"? After regaining art house box office relevance with his charming if twee Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson stays in the madcap period picture wheelhouse with this caper comedy, set in the 1930s in a fictional Eastern European country called Zubrowka. Ralph Fiennes, a newcomer to the Anderson stable of actors (many… read more!
After four live-action features of varying emotional and narrative quality, I'd argue that what we now call "Wes Anderson Style" was perfected in his first stop-motion animated film, 2009's Fantastic Mr. Fox. I'm not just talking about Anderson's retro, detail-obsessed visual style but also his tonal style, where the occasional mawkishness found in The Royal Tenenbaums and The Darjeeling Limited was… read more!
I'm of the opinion that Wes Anderson's films represent a sort of cinematic law of diminishing returns: as each budget gets bigger, and as Anderson's cult following gets larger, his work becomes less interesting. To wit: Bottle Rocket was thoroughly original and charming; Rushmore was cute, if inconsequential; The Royal Tenenbaums was a bloated snooze. So it was with low… read more!
I soured on the nonstop whimsy of Wes Anderson's output shortly after The Royal Tenenbaums. But he won me back with his charming stop-motion comedy The Fantastic Mr. Fox, so I dared to take a chance on his latest, Moonrise Kingdom. The good news is that I think it's his best, most honest live action film since Bottle Rocket. The… read more!
Wes Anderson's second feature Rushmore reminded me, in its tale of a wise-guy prep schooler frightened of his own loneliness, of J. D. Salinger's classic novel The Catcher in the Rye, only lighter and shallower. So when I heard that Anderson's next film involved a family of child prodigies who grow up to be unhappy adults, I figured this would… read more!