The imagination of now iconic director Wes Anderson has captured the attention of millions of fans around the world. His films, often featuring bright colors, beautiful symmetry, and idyllic set pieces, evoke the sort of wonder reminiscent of childhood. Though all of his films are brilliant, a few stand higher than the rest. Here are my recommendations for anyone just discovering Wes Anderson.
3. Moonrise Kingdom
A young boy named Sam finds himself lovestruck when he visits a local church production of Noah’s Ark with his “Khaki Scout” troop. He meets Suzie, the leading lady in the children’s play, and over the course of a year they correspond via letters plotting their escape from the oppressive adults in their lives. The film pursues the couple as they attempt to escape the various authority figures in their lives who insist they know better. Moonrise Kingdom is a coming of age film, but it’s also a film about forbidden love.
2. The Royal Tenenbaums
Royal Tenenbaum is estranged to his ex-wife and 3 children (now adults). When he suddenly returns asking to be back in their lives, he receives mixed reactions from the bunch. Insisting that he is a changed man, he attempts to right his previous wrongs. The quirky humour of Anderson is on full display in this film about what it means to be family and the dysfunction that so often comes hand-in-hand.
1. Fantastic Mr. Fox
Mr. Fox, a reporter for the local newspaper, is going through a midlife crisis. He decides to move his family into a new home which happens to be just on the edge of the farmland of three infamous farmers, Boggis, Bunce, and Bean. Antics ensue as Mr. Fox decides to relive his younger days, planning heists at each of the farmhouses as “One last big job”. This of course angers the farmers, who agree to work together to hunt and kill Mr. Fox and his family. Fantastic Mr. Fox (based on Roald Dahl’s classic of the same name) is one of the most beautiful animated films I’ve ever seen. Ultimately about accepting who you are and your place in life, it’s the perfect film for a family movie night.
It should be noted that this list only details 3 of his 8 feature films. Any one of them are worth a watch. Each film possesses his signature charm and all are rewarding in their own right. (Honorable mention goes to Grand Budapest Hotel). If you haven’t had a chance to see a Wes Anderson film for yourself, I’d highly recommend heading into Bookmans and picking one up today.
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