Top three Wes Anderson movies

Wes Anderson is a director known for his unique film style and his iconic coloring. He takes advantage of framing with symmetry and most commonly his use of bright, warm colors such as yellow, red, and orange. He’s also known for his use of the same actors across his movies such as Jason Shwarztman, Edward Norton, Angelica Houston, and Tilda Swinton. In this review,  I’ll cover the highs and lows of my top three favorite Wes Anderson movies, the themes used and also their own unique styles.

First on the block is the movie Fantastic Mr. Fox. If you're unfamiliar with the film, it’s an animated stop-motion about a family of foxes struggling with money and the dangers of the human world. This is by far my favorite Wes Anderson film along with it being the first film of his I ever watched. Behind the slightly unsettling fox puppets, there are a lot of important messages within the story such as feelings of inadequacy, social rejection, and dealing with a midlife crisis. Not only do I enjoy this movie because of the amazing voice actors featured, such as George Clooney and Meryl Streep, but also because the characters can be extremely relatable to people anywhere from teenagers to adults. One of the things that deters people from watching this movie is the art style, which some may find disturbing because of the almost real-like animals, which creates an uncanny valley type effect. However, I think it adds to the story and the uniqueness of the film. I asked Eret Bott, a student here at Rowland Hall, what they thought of the art style, and they said, “I actually really enjoyed the art of the movie despite it being unconventional, but that’s what I liked about it!” I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoys stuff a bit on the weird side just like Eret.

My next favorite is Moonrise Kingdom, which is a movie about two runaways who fall in love with each other. This movie is a great coming-of-age movie, and it touches on a lot of subjects like adoption, newfound independence, and familial issues. The boy is a scout who escaped from his camp, and the girl is a runaway. The two teens explore life without their parents and what it means to be alive. Here is one review by Ian Fastert on Letterboxd that I think captures some of the emotions people feel during this movie: “And that the film is managing to grow up with me really shows how magical it really is. Moonrise Kingdom is funny, it's poignant, it's pure happiness sometimes but other times it's the most empty feeling alive, it's love, it's pain, it's what it feels to be alive, and I can't think of any other movie that evokes all those emotions in me like Moonrise Kingdom does.” This is just one of many reviews for this movie that shows how it connected to people in a special way. Unlike some of Wes Anderson’s other movies, this is a live-action movie with people like Bill Murray and Edward Norton. A lot of people are thrown off by the dialogue and think the story is boring, but I think if you have the patience to sit down and enjoy the movie you can really appreciate its beauty.

Last up is a movie called The Royal Tenenbaums recommended to me by Matt Sincell. While most people view this as a comedy, I thought it had a more melancholy tone. This movie surprisingly made me very sad, possibly because it had a little bit of a heftier impact for me, but I think the things that seem to be “comedic” ended up having a deeper meaning behind them. The movie is about three siblings who were famous genius children who fell out of touch once they got older but come back to their old home once their father says he’s dying. This movie touches on themes such as absent fathers, complicated relationships, unrealistic expectations at an early age, depression, and forgiveness. The main conflict in the movie is that while the father is sick, he is absent in their lives as kids and they have to work through forgiving him during the movie. This is also a live-action movie with actors such as Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, and Gwyenth Paltrow, and the acting in this movie is truly amazing. The only downside to this movie I’ve noticed is that some may find it boring or hard to get through or maybe even a little underwhelming. In regards to that, I think that the ending is truly satisfying though and that the climax is indeed very interesting and not at all boring. Still, some people might not like it, and that’s ok. I would recommend this movie to anyone who might have a complicated family or someone who enjoys a little bit of dry humor. 

Wes Anderson movies may not be for everyone, but they are for a mass majority of people, and you never know if you might like them or not, so why not give one a try? Overall I think that these movies are great for those who are used to a little bit of unconventional media and those who can appreciate the art in movies. Go forth and watch! 
 

Top three Wes Anderson movies
Azh Hamilton

Wes Anderson is a director known for his unique film style and his iconic coloring. He takes advantage of framing with symmetry and most commonly his use of bright, warm colors such as yellow, red, and orange. He’s also known for his use of the same actors across his movies such as Jason Shwarztman, Edward Norton, Angelica Houston, and Tilda Swinton. In this review,  I’ll cover the highs and lows of my top three favorite Wes Anderson movies, the themes used and also their own unique styles.

First on the block is the movie Fantastic Mr. Fox. If you're unfamiliar with the film, it’s an animated stop-motion about a family of foxes struggling with money and the dangers of the human world. This is by far my favorite Wes Anderson film along with it being the first film of his I ever watched. Behind the slightly unsettling fox puppets, there are a lot of important messages within the story such as feelings of inadequacy, social rejection, and dealing with a midlife crisis. Not only do I enjoy this movie because of the amazing voice actors featured, such as George Clooney and Meryl Streep, but also because the characters can be extremely relatable to people anywhere from teenagers to adults. One of the things that deters people from watching this movie is the art style, which some may find disturbing because of the almost real-like animals, which creates an uncanny valley type effect. However, I think it adds to the story and the uniqueness of the film. I asked Eret Bott, a student here at Rowland Hall, what they thought of the art style, and they said, “I actually really enjoyed the art of the movie despite it being unconventional, but that’s what I liked about it!” I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoys stuff a bit on the weird side just like Eret.

My next favorite is Moonrise Kingdom, which is a movie about two runaways who fall in love with each other. This movie is a great coming-of-age movie, and it touches on a lot of subjects like adoption, newfound independence, and familial issues. The boy is a scout who escaped from his camp, and the girl is a runaway. The two teens explore life without their parents and what it means to be alive. Here is one review by Ian Fastert on Letterboxd that I think captures some of the emotions people feel during this movie: “And that the film is managing to grow up with me really shows how magical it really is. Moonrise Kingdom is funny, it's poignant, it's pure happiness sometimes but other times it's the most empty feeling alive, it's love, it's pain, it's what it feels to be alive, and I can't think of any other movie that evokes all those emotions in me like Moonrise Kingdom does.” This is just one of many reviews for this movie that shows how it connected to people in a special way. Unlike some of Wes Anderson’s other movies, this is a live-action movie with people like Bill Murray and Edward Norton. A lot of people are thrown off by the dialogue and think the story is boring, but I think if you have the patience to sit down and enjoy the movie you can really appreciate its beauty.

Last up is a movie called The Royal Tenenbaums recommended to me by Matt Sincell. While most people view this as a comedy, I thought it had a more melancholy tone. This movie surprisingly made me very sad, possibly because it had a little bit of a heftier impact for me, but I think the things that seem to be “comedic” ended up having a deeper meaning behind them. The movie is about three siblings who were famous genius children who fell out of touch once they got older but come back to their old home once their father says he’s dying. This movie touches on themes such as absent fathers, complicated relationships, unrealistic expectations at an early age, depression, and forgiveness. The main conflict in the movie is that while the father is sick, he is absent in their lives as kids and they have to work through forgiving him during the movie. This is also a live-action movie with actors such as Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, and Gwyenth Paltrow, and the acting in this movie is truly amazing. The only downside to this movie I’ve noticed is that some may find it boring or hard to get through or maybe even a little underwhelming. In regards to that, I think that the ending is truly satisfying though and that the climax is indeed very interesting and not at all boring. Still, some people might not like it, and that’s ok. I would recommend this movie to anyone who might have a complicated family or someone who enjoys a little bit of dry humor. 

Wes Anderson movies may not be for everyone, but they are for a mass majority of people, and you never know if you might like them or not, so why not give one a try? Overall I think that these movies are great for those who are used to a little bit of unconventional media and those who can appreciate the art in movies. Go forth and watch! 
 

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