Tuesday, September 25, 2012

List: Favourite Wes Anderson Movies

Finally! After months of waiting and feeling left behind by the rest of the world, I finally got to see Moonrise Kingdom [2012] last week. To my delight I found the legend to be true... this really is a genuine contender for the best film of 2012. In the months while waiting to experience this masterpiece, I entertained myself by re-watching the previous works of this wonderful auteur known as Wesley Wales Anderson.

Alongside Tim Burton and Quentin Tarantino, this director's films are the most uniquely identified with its creator. Just spend a few minutes watching and you'll know its his film that you're experiencing (perhaps with the exception of Bottle Rocket [1996] ). Anderson seems to create an alternate universe with his movies where we know the characters aren't real yet we still find them highly relatable. Its also interesting that each of his movies have multiple characters that all stand out and have great complexity. Furthermore, I believe the charm of his films are in re-watches. Truthfully there aren't much laugh-out loud moments. But unlike those type of humour which kinda lose its initial impact upon re-watches, we still get to experience the same amount of amusement every time we revisit a Wes Anderson film. Now here's how I rank all seven of his movies:

#7 "The Spiritual Journey Accross India" ~ The Darjeeling Limited [2007]

Starring: Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Amara Karan, Waris Ahluwalia

In terms of entertainment level, I found this to be just OK. I wasn't enamoured by it like some of Anderson's other work. But I do have to say that I completely love the twist & cameo it had. Usually twist comes late in a movie, but this one appears very early on and haves a massive impact! Its like we were supposed to follow a whole different movie if it wasn't for that twist & cameo (*uhuk..uhuk... Bill Murray*).

Selected Quote: "I wonder if the three of us would have been friends in real life. Not as brothers, but as people"

#6 "Let's Take A Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea, Shall we?" ~ The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou [2004]

Starring: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Anjelica Huston, Willem Defoe, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldbum, Seu Jorge

I didn't fully get into this movie during its first half (or more), but then pirates came and the excitement levels went up drastically. The charm lies in Bill Murray's character and the quirky characters you would expect to be created by Wes Anderson

Selected Quote: "Don't point that gun at him. He's an unpaid intern"

#5 "The Full-Feature Debut" ~ Bottle Rocket [1996]

Starring: Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Robert Musgrave, Lumi Cavazos, James Caan

I somehow feel that this is the most different of all the Wes Anderson movies. It doesn't exactly have the style and quirkiness that the other films have. Perhaps, it has to do with this being his full-feature debut. Its still hilarious though, and Owen Wilson always seems at his best in his collaborations with Anderson.

Selected Quote: "Anthony! Bob's gone! He stole HIS car!"

#4 "The Crush On The Teacher" ~ Rushmore [1998]

Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Olivia Williams, Bill Murray, Mason Gamble, Brian Cox, Sara Tanaka

I haven't seen much of Jason Schwarztman in movies by other directors, so I very much view him as a perfect personification of a Wes Anderson character. I just can't separate his name with that of the director. His portrayal of Max Fischer in Rushmore is my favourite from him so far.

Selected Quote: Rosemary Cross: "Has it ever crossed your mind that you're far too young for me?" Max Fischer: "It crossed my mind that you might consider it a possibility, yeah"

#3 "My Favourite Dysfunctional Family" ~ The Royal Tenenbaums [2001]

Starring: Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, Bill Murray, Danny Glover, Owen Wilson

I managed to catch this upon its initial release and at that time thought it was fairly average. For years after, it remained the only Wes Anderson movie I saw. During this time I kept hearing people proclaiming that this was a masterpiece while I kept thinking to myself that this movie was so overrated. Then on a very boring night in 2006 it was played on the telly. I couldn't sleep that night and with nothing to do, decided to give this another go. It was like I was watching a whole different movie. Suddenly it was brilliant!! It felt like the first time I watched this I "had eyes but cannot see". Multiple viewings since had conformed this as one of my favourite films. Plus, a very recent viewing had my wondering, what the hell happened to Gene Hackman?? I miss him!

Selected Quote: [Royal Tenenbaum's Epitaph]: Royal O'Reilly Tenenbaum. 1932-2001. Died Tragically While Rescuing His Family From The Wreckage Of A Destroyed Sinking Battleship.

#2 "Because I'm A Wild Animal" ~ Fantastic Mr. Fox [2009]

Starring (voices): George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Wallace Wolodarsky, Bill Murray, Eric Chase Anderson, Michael Gambon

Go through this blog and you'll discover that I'm a massive Pixar and animation fan. My favourite non-Pixar animations are The Iron Giant [1999], Tangled [2010] (I don't care what you say, I stand by this), and this masterpiece right here. The more times I see it, the more I'm in love with it. Special mention goes to the music score by Alexandre Desplat. Amazing!

Selected Quote:
Mrs. Fox: "Ash, I know what's its like to feel... different (*hands waving like in the photo above*)..." Ash: "But I'm not different... am I?" Mrs. Fox: "We all are... him especially (*points to Mr. Fox*). But there's something kinda fantastic about that, isn't there?"

#1 "The Innocence Of Young Love" ~ Moonrise Kingdom [2012]

Starring: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, France McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Harvey Keitel, Eric Chase Anderson

Believe the hype. It is that good. Two outcast 12 years old kids fall in love and decide to run away together. Charming and poignant, I truly believe this will be a future classic. Why, oh why did it only have limited release? I'll be furious if this doesn't land any major nominations come awards season.

Selected Quote: Sam: "I love you. But you have no idea what you're talking about" Suzy: "I love you too"


  1. Moonrise Kingdom easily jumped to the top of my list for best Wes Anderson movies. It was just so damn cute. I really need to re-watch The Royal Tenenbaums. The first time I saw it, I hated it. I'm not sure if that's the same reaction I would have now.

    1. Tenenbaums does have a polarizing effect, some say its Anderson's best work while some say its his worst. I'd at least say give it a second viewing, mine changed my entire perspective on it...

  2. mana hang tengok ni? mana ada kat Malaysia ni weh!

    1. cite apa? Moonrise Kingdom? kalo ko melawat Universal Studios kat Singapore ko bole layan kat situ skali, ada tayang... tapi aku tgk kat tenet jerh :P

  3. I just saw Moonrise Kingdom yesterday, such a wonderful treat! I haven't watch the rest from Wes Anderson, so thanks for creating the list. So true that Moonrise Kingdom could be a future classic!

    1. Due to the unique style, his movies are probably not for everyone. But I guess if you've enjoyed Moonrise Kingdom, you'll enjoy most of his other works.

  4. Nice list! I still need to see Steve Zissou and Rushmore first before I can determine a fave. So far I think Fantastic Mr Fox is the most enjoyable for me.

    1. I love Fantastic Mr. Fox! I almost made it my number one pick here. Out of the two you've mentioned, I think Rushmore is the safer bet.


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