I’m going to cheat again with this one – because I can, ok? My site, my rules. So instead of just one film, I’m going to disappoint my film-loving friends with a bold and controversial statement : I don’t like the films of Wes Anderson.
I know, I know. He’s a filmmaker’s darling and can do no wrong, his films are whimsical and irreverent and when a new Wes Anderson film comes out the critics rush to ejaculate all over it. But there’s something that really rubs me up the wrong way with the films that I’ve seen.
They’re whimsical, sure. They’re irreverent, ok. But there’s something I just don’t get about them. They seem to be quirky for quirkiness’ sake. Take Fantastic Mr Fox, for example. The original is a fun little story about a fox whose arrogance and pride pushes him to risk biting off more than he can chew when raiding the farms around him. The film… why does his son wear a mask and cape? What’s with Bill Murray’s badger character? What was going on?
I certainly won’t deny that they’re very well shot – he has an excellent eye for pleasing symmetry:
But there’s just something about the characters that I just can’t get to grips with. The Life Aquatic was a bizarre trip, and The Royal Tenenbaums left me scratching my head in bemusement. I can’t connect with the characters at all, they’re so far removed from my experience of people.
This probably says more about me than it does about Wes Anderson’s films, but I’m more interested in being entertained by a film than I am in pondering its significance – and maybe I’m just not high-brow enough to truly ‘get’ Wes Anderson. It just comes across as too pretentious for me. I don’t mind a bit of pretension every now and then, but there’s only so much I can take. And I think Wes Anderson’s films are just that little bit too much for me.
If you like his work, fantastic – he’s very prolific and he’s not showing any signs of letting up soon, so you’ll have plenty to enjoy. I think I’ll just stick with more accessible fare, though.