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Quint was charmed by Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom! Cannes 2012!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with my first movie of the Cannes Film Festival. I know, right? Who lost their fool mind and sent me to Cannes? (Hint: it was Harry)

Funnily enough, I’m not here for the entirety of the festival and I’m actually missing the first three days to interview obligations… in fact, I left Austin as Moonrise Kingdom was screening for local press. So, while it’s fitting that my first movie at Cannes was the opener of the festival, Wes Anderson’s typically quirky ode to young, weird romance, it wasn’t exactly my first real Cannes screening. Sure, I saw it on the Croisette, but in a little theater on Rue d’Antibes that was showing such classic European fare as “American Pie 4” (that’s how it as on the billboard). It was a comfy theater, but maybe seated 120 people with all of 10 critics taking up the space. A far cry from the multi-thousand seaters I’m about to experience.

Frustrating internet issues aside, I see the allure of the festival already. The smell of cinema is in the air here. The people are abuzz, locals and tourists alike taking pictures of everything from a giant Marilyn Monroe poster to seemingly random red carpets. Plus it’s in one of the most beautiful places on earth, the Mediterranean Sea crystal blue, the breeze light and lovely and sun bright and sunny.

I wonder if there’s a reason festivals like Cannes, Sundance, Sitges and Telluride take place in such beautiful areas when the attendees are going to be spending most of their time sitting in a dark room anyway.

But lets get to Moonrise Kingdom, shall we?



First off, there’s a lot more Fantastic Mr. Fox in this movie than I was expecting. Visually, tonally and even in the camerawork there was a semi-animated quality to this film that was embraced fully by Anderson. It’s a striking, but pleasant twist on his usual live-action feel.

As you’d expect, the film is filled with borderline insane characters, from the obsessive chain-smoking aw-shucks Khaki Scout leader (Edward Norton) to the quasi-narrator that interrupts the story from time to time to do a to-the-camera countdown to the epic storm that’s about to hit the island (Bob Balaban) to the central star-crossed lovers… a lonely girl who also happens to be a violent sociopath and a young “emotionally disturbed” Khaki Scout prodigy/orphan/outcast.

While this really is a movie about a romance between these two kids we actually don’t even get to meet Sam (Jared Gilman) until about a reel into the movie. He has escaped his tent (Shawshank Redemption style), leaving a note of resignation from the Khaki Scouts for the distraught and hurt Norton.

The other side of this romance, Suzy (Kara Hayward), however opens the movie, showing a glimpse of her family life, surrounded by her younger brothers and her sleepwalking-through-life lawyer parents (Frances McDormand and Bill Murray).

Hayward is a particularly interesting find for Anderson. She’s like a cross between Hermione Granger and Glenn Close in Basic Instinct. There’s something unsettling about her crazed wide-eyed stare, but also something very vulnerable and sad about her, too.

Gilman’s Sam is likewise kind of off. He’s not violent like she is, but he’s about as socially awkward as he can be. There’s a romantic notion that since there are no perfect people everybody is on the look out for a partner that compliments their own flaws; a partner who is strong where they are weak and vice versa. The idea is that some people fit together emotionally and spiritually like two puzzle pieces. These kids are two particularly perfect puzzle pieces.

I’m a sucker for a good coming of age movie, so of course that aspect of the film worked well for me. Every bit of awkward intimacy, every attempted moment of chivalry or emotionally vulnerable scene clicked.

The supporting cast is just as strong. Edward Norton is great as the kid-in-a-grown-up’s-body troop leader. He’s naïve, innocently kind, but takes his Khaki Scouts super seriously, so can be a random hardass sometimes.

Also great is Bruce Willis who plays the town cop. Willis reminds us here that when his heart is into a role and he’s willing to show some vulnerability he’s one of the best screen presences we have. He plays Captain Sharp very low key, but some of that great comic-timing we all loved in Moonlighting pops up when needed.



There’s a scene between Willis and Murray as they drive around the island looking for the runaway pre-teens that is small and with any other actors would have just been a filler moment between these two men. But with two personalities as big as Bruce Willis and Bill Murray I found myself enthralled and wishing there was a buddy movie starring these two characters, both lonely men who love the same woman and sense this about each other.

Like most Wes Anderson movies you have to buckle in from the beginning and be willing to let Anderson lead through his very specific universe. I’ll understand if some people aren’t willing to be led through the world of Moonrise Kingdom. Anderson isn’t afraid to go so stylistic that some of the audience will tune out and that’s why I like his movies so much. You can say what you will, but he never compromises his vision. He doesn’t churn out homogenized versions of his particular brand (ahem, Tim Burton). You can feel the passion behind every one of his films.

That’s especially true here as his sensibilities have evolved a little bit and his recent work in animation shows up in the style of the film.

The flick isn’t as dense as The Life Aquatic, not as hilarious as The Royal Tenenbaums and maybe not as widely appealing as Rushmore, but it’s a film that feels very comfortable on the shelf alongside his other work. If you like Wes Anderson movies it’s no surprise that this one will be for you. Moonrise Kingdom is refreshingly light and airy, an easy to watch melody of a movie.



So, my Cannes got off to a good start. The real adventure begins tomorrow! Stay tuned!

-Eric Vespe
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Readers Talkback
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  • May 18, 2012, 5:45 a.m. CST

    Really don't get the love for Anderson.

    by chuffsterUK

    Find his films pretentious.

  • May 18, 2012, 5:53 a.m. CST

    Looking forward to it

    by AlienFanatic

    Anderson's films have such a fun, unusual quality and a great cast that it's hard not to watch them with a smile. Great stuff.

  • May 18, 2012, 6:04 a.m. CST

    Life Aquatic was his best

    by Mr Soze

  • May 18, 2012, 6:08 a.m. CST

    Is it quirky?

    by Mugato5150

    I bet it's quirky!

  • May 18, 2012, 6:16 a.m. CST

    I also find his films to be wanky fare.

    by JP

    The sort students go to view in their independant theatres to appear oh so intellectual.

  • May 18, 2012, 6:31 a.m. CST

    Andserson is an insecure filmmaker

    by Robusto

    His career is has been stuck in a single gear from the beginning. He's dressed up his style and stretched it but has never drifted far from his security blanket. His films are great dont get me wrong. But after this many of the same style it starting to become a wierd tradition. Bottom line Rushmore was perfect, move on. Even Tarantino wisely left the PulpFiction-verse.

  • May 18, 2012, 6:39 a.m. CST

    I don't like Wes Anderson's films much at all

    by successor

    But you've gotta admit, Anderson and his cinematographer have a great sense of blocking. It must have taken hours at least (maybe days who knows) to get such perfectly lined up shots.

  • May 18, 2012, 6:44 a.m. CST

    one of the laziest one-note filmmakers out there

    by Spandau Belly

    His fan base is ever-shrinking, but they're still there and they somehow think his films are something more than a lazier version of NAPOLEON DYNAMITE.

  • May 18, 2012, 6:46 a.m. CST

    P T Anderson is the only Anderson.

    by JP

    Wes - forgettable pretentious nerd fluff. Paul WS - garbage man.

  • May 18, 2012, 6:48 a.m. CST

    He is a one note director yes, but it's a nice note

    by Ricardo

    You can watch any of his films for 30 seconds and right away you know he is the director.

  • May 18, 2012, 6:51 a.m. CST

    Pretentiousness isn't always a bad thing...

    by JakeKaufman

    I don't necessarily think that pretentiousness is a bad trait for a filmmaker to have. Wes Anderson is fantastic. I remember renting Life Aquatic, I was only like 12 when it came out, and I remember thinking it was one of the funniest movies I had ever seen. All great entertainers are a bit pretentious. If you're good at something you should know you're good at it, or know that you can do something better than other people. It makes you work harder.

  • May 18, 2012, 6:52 a.m. CST

    He's a giant poser. Plain and simple.

    by adolfwolfli

    I almost can't believe quint used the word "vision". If anything it's lack of vision. Anderson stole his sensibility from Hal Ashby (quirky lovelorn characters, 60's pop soundtrack, etc.) and his camerawork and art direction from Ozu (centered symmetrical compositions, obsessively curated and placed props, etc.). He sprinkled on a generous helping of hipster kitsch in the form of Addidas tracksuits and naive hand-drawn bullshit, and mixed it all up into a increasingly stale concoction that allows the less adventurous filmgoer to feel as though they're watching an "art" movie, when in fact they're getting the wool pulled over their eyes over and over again. A movie is more than a collection of vintage metal lunch boxes and people talking through megaphones. The whole thing is just a schtick that he keeps repeating over and over with minimal changes to the formula each time. He got lucky with "Bottle Rocket" and "Rushmore", both good but not great films, and his insecure knowledge that he got lucky permeates every frame of every film since. If I see one more title card written on looseleaf paper with stickers and crayon I'm going to lose it. The other Anderson is the real filmmaker. Look at the evolution from "Boogie Nights" through "There Will Be Blood".

  • May 18, 2012, 6:54 a.m. CST

    Guys, c'mon seriously...

    by LordBond

    His films may not be to everyone's tastes, but surely an original filmmaker carving out his own unique niche in this overcrowded marketplace of reboots, remakes and reimaginings is something to be applauded. You'll still get your Dark Knights, Avengers and Bond films, so why begrudge a talented and genuinely unique auteur from making his small, personal and decidedly NOT FOR EVERYONE movies. You are all of course entitled to your opinions, but I'm getting tired of every talkback being inundated by negative comments being posted purely for the sake of being negative. By all means be negative, but try and be constructive with it. This post was inspired by mentaldominance and his idiotic, oh-so-attention-grabbing, immature posts, with absolutely no intelligence on display, nor any attempt at being objective. Guess I better go and "grow some balls and grow some brains" then. Wise words mate.

  • May 18, 2012, 6:56 a.m. CST


    by tomdolan04


  • Valentines Day 2013 - Lets get together, have a few laaaaughs

  • May 18, 2012, 7:06 a.m. CST

    Personally I'm stoked!

    by themastadon

    I've loved every single Wes Anderson film. I think his style is a breath of fresh air to a lot of other films coming out in Hollywood that all look the same. His films are quirky, and I guess you do have to really like his sense of humor to get the most of out it (Rushmore is one of my favorite comedies), but I know a lot of my friends aren't fans at all so I understand all the negative comments here and that's cool. Myself though, when I saw the trailer attached to The Avengers, I started clapping in excitement because from the first frame I knew it was the new Wes Anderson film, which there aren't many directors that can have that instant recognition.

  • :( and glenn close wasn't in basic instinct.

  • He's one of the best directors working today and I love every one of his films. Especially Fantastic Mr. Fox, which gets better with every viewing and has surpassed The Royal Tennenbaums as my favorite Wes Andersen film.

  • May 18, 2012, 7:14 a.m. CST

    I like about half of Andersons films

    by tomdolan04

    They are perhaps the most subjective of films. The Life Aquatic bored me senseless to which a lot of his staunch defenders will use an Emperors New Clothes style defense - 'What do you mean, you dont GET IT do you. Ha Ha you don't get his vision'. <p> I love arthouse and slow films but it bugs me when words like 'vision' and 'odes' are thrown around for Andersons reviews. All directors have a 'vision' - it's just because Anderson likes to wallow in a style doesn't mean his vision is starker than anyone elses. You get the impression that reviewers (in general) feel the need to review his work with kid gloves because 'these are the kind of movies that he makes' rather than on their own merits. Fairly few other directors would get that treatment - which isn't necessarily a bad thing since there aren't a multitude of Anderson style directors who've entered the mainstream but it's worth noting the distintion none-the-less. <p> And I agree - 'The flick isn’t as dense as The Life Aquatic, not as hilarious as The Royal Tenenbaums and maybe not as widely appealing as Rushmore' does sound damning. It's also interesting as those qualities from each your comparing against on a sole basis - in that you wouldn't say of a new Spielberg flick 'Not as adventurous as Raiders, not as scary as Jaws and not as appealing as ET' - but you pretty much can with Anderson because if you've seen one of his films then there's not a lot to differentiate them (and again Ii do like some of his work)

  • May 18, 2012, 7:15 a.m. CST

    Looking forward to it

    by R.S

    I think he does quirky well and with a lot of heart. A long time ago I felt the same way about Tim Burton, just hope Anderson doesn't turn into a hack too.

  • May 18, 2012, 7:16 a.m. CST

    Sorry 'dinstinction' in that last post

    by tomdolan04

    Typing from a phone on a boring hot train. I'll still check out this if it plays near me though as the cast is pretty stellar.

  • May 18, 2012, 7:24 a.m. CST

    ahh forget it!

    by tomdolan04

  • Is this place populated with X-box obsessed 14 year olds these days?

  • Thanks for the advice! My world will be forever changed. I didn't realize Wes Anderson was worthless. You sir are a genius. Mentaldominace for president!

  • May 18, 2012, 7:45 a.m. CST

    Love his movies, can't wait to see this

    by MrEkoLetMeLive

  • May 18, 2012, 7:53 a.m. CST

    Wes Anderson = acquired taste

    by syn_flood

    and I love all of his movies. He's one of the clearest examples of an auteur in modern cinema, but I can see why people wouldn't like his films. There is no need to be offended that others like them, though, and to call him pretentious just show that you don't know what the word means.

  • May 18, 2012, 7:54 a.m. CST

    havent seen any of his movies

    by dioxholsters ghost

    i would like to keep it that way

  • May 18, 2012, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Nothing to hate here

    by Brian

    Yes, he's wanky. Yes, he's locked in gear. Yes, it's fun. You don't pop in to a Wes Anderson movie to drama or thrills. You pop in for the colorful characters, a few life-changing events and an arduously assembled visual history. Every now and then you'll be treated to an actor who can bring the script to life and that's nice. Can't please these turds, eh?

  • May 18, 2012, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Tenenbaums and Life Aquatic are great, great films

    by Fico

    Not as high on Darjeeling and Mr. Fox. I'm hoping he can get back to that earlier magic. But you have to give him credit for taking risks and telling the BATTLESHIP audience to fuck themselves

  • May 18, 2012, 8:10 a.m. CST

    The Fantastic Mr. Fox-The best animated film of last decade

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Or at least the best American one.

  • May 18, 2012, 8:15 a.m. CST

    Owen Gleiberman at Entertainment Weekly hates Moonrise Kingdom

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Hence it must be a great film.

  • May 18, 2012, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Life aquatic is better than most movies

    by UltraTron

  • May 18, 2012, 8:24 a.m. CST

    Looking forward to this

    by pr0g2west

    Wes Anderson is a great obscure director. I understand the hate, because most people don't like quirkyness, or extremely dry humor, or over-the-top awkwardness. But that is how Wes makes his movies, his DNA is in every frame. I for one really like his style, and im sure a lot of people agree with me. They just don't inhabit aintitcoolnews talkbacks such as this.

  • May 18, 2012, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Life Aquatic to me is an epic like Avengers.

    by UltraTron

  • May 18, 2012, 8:28 a.m. CST

    AINIC's Best Writer at Cannes? FilmFan Bliss

    by originalmemflix

    Not only is Quint the best staff writer on the site, but few parallel his work ethic. Really looking forward to his reports. Did Kraken get to join you? Any one taking pictures or you doing double duty? Hate it for you that you're missing the first three days, though.

  • May 18, 2012, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Quint... what about De Rouille et d'os?

    by BelgiumRules

    You've seen it? With Marillon Cotillard and our national pride Bullhead star Matthias Schoenaerts?

  • And Life Aquatic gets better every time you watch it, but still lacks any real humanity. But I couldn't love Rushmore or Royal Tanenbaums more.

  • FACT! As someone on here is so fond of saying...

  • May 18, 2012, 8:50 a.m. CST

    And why I'm wary about going to see this one.

    by leonardo_dicraprio

  • I think the thing is his films have become more and more about death and dying, and the characters in them have trouble expressing their grief, at least in regard to Life Aquatic and Darjeeling.

  • May 18, 2012, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Glenn Close and Brian Cox were great in Basic Instinct.

    by PeopleCallMeTheBriMan

  • May 18, 2012, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Bottle Rocket is my favorite

    by slone13

  • May 18, 2012, 9:10 a.m. CST

    My balls are all grow'd

    by jasper Stillwell

    I love Anderson. But I realise entirely why people hate him. Minimalism, space and understatement in a film have a habit of making some people feel uncomfortable and insecure. Anderson simply does what he does, modestly and tastefully. Tim Burton makes the same film time and again, people can always go and see them. But his films are made for those who congratulate themselves on recognising a distinctive signature in a film. They're genre films for people who don't really like genre films. There's room for it all.

  • May 18, 2012, 9:19 a.m. CST

    Rushmore is a masterpiece.

    by Lovecraftfan

    Because of that Ill keep seeing his films. His others films I have various opinions. Life Aquatic is dreadful.

  • May 18, 2012, 9:24 a.m. CST

    Thanks Quint!

    by JAGUART

  • May 18, 2012, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Why not embed a trailer?

    by 2soon2eat

    Kind of lazy. Every time someone has to click away, they may not come back and you lose a little ad revenue.

  • - or the just plain fuckin' dense.

  • May 18, 2012, 9:50 a.m. CST

    I've yet to see a film of his I didn't absolutely love

    by kidicarus

  • May 18, 2012, 9:50 a.m. CST

    And the rest of you, fuck off and go watch Battleship

    by kidicarus

  • May 18, 2012, 9:51 a.m. CST


    by BookhouseBoy

    You read my mind lol

  • May 18, 2012, 10:07 a.m. CST

    Glenn Close?

    by tapehead1

    Am I missing something? Glenn Close is not in Basic Instinct. He either means Sharon Stone or he Fatal Attraction right?

  • He has a unique signature in his visuals and his cutting is perfect for his atmosphere. Quint used the word charming and that seems to be a common theme in his films. His stuff is crafted very well; even his lesser works lik DARJEELING has a lot of heart to it. Looking forward to MOONRISE. Murray and Willis together...GOLD!

  • May 18, 2012, 10:21 a.m. CST

    This one looks promising

    by Patch

    Nice review and thanks for not spoiling the entire movie as is the style of the time...

  • May 18, 2012, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Only wish Willis would get more work in non-formulac films.

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    One of the most underrated actors, I still think he was robbed of a nomination for The Sixth Sense and/or Unbreakable .

  • May 18, 2012, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Odd, though, that Owen Wilson doesn't appear to be involved

    by AlienFanatic

    It's almost a requirement of a Wes Anderson flick. I wonder why Owen wasn't involved?

  • May 18, 2012, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Awesome Bill Murray quote from the press event for Moonrise

    by AlienFanatic

    Got this from the Globe and Mail. ------ Murray, also a favourite of director Jim Jarmusch, says return engagements with a director are flattering. “Often, when you’re working with a director, you’ll never see them again. Sometimes you hope you’ll never see them again. And sometimes the director feels the same way. They don’t wait for you to leave. Sometimes they drive you to the airport to make sure you leave. Wes has never given me a drive to the airport.” ------ LMAO!

  • “These are what they call ‘art films.’ I don’t know if you know what those are. They’re films where you work very, very long hours for no money. All we get is this trip to Cannes. No money involved. We wear our own clothes. No rentals. But fortunately we’ve saved money from other jobs so we can afford to work with Wes over and over.”

  • May 18, 2012, 10:39 a.m. CST

    It's so fashionable to hate W.Anderson

    by Goodbye_America

    Douchebags. It's so hard to enjoy anything nowadays, isn't it?

  • May 18, 2012, 10:40 a.m. CST

    Quint- re:Willis and Murray

    by A_Banned_Apart

    Agreed. Would love to see the two of them as the leads in a film.

  • May 18, 2012, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Ugh...Wes Anderson's Films Aren't Pretentious

    by Raskolnikov_was_framed

    there is nothing hard to grasp or high brow about his films...his films are stylistically pleasing, they are different, like a modern fairy tale without magic...his movies are always about people who are just the slightest bit off from normality...quirky is a good word to describe his films...basically if Juno the person from the movie Juno was herself a movie those would be Wes Anderson's films...people call his films pretentious I love his films for their outright simplicity and charm...nothing pretentious about his work at want pretentious?? Mulholland Drive is a good place to start...and I like that film too...but it's needlessly thick

  • May 18, 2012, 11:11 a.m. CST


    by Johnny Wrong

    ...I don't think you really know what pretentious means. Fine you don't like his films. Doesn't mean there's anything negative to be said about 'em. Just means you don't like 'em. Anderson is an auteur, one of a dying breed, and we should be thankful for him and his kind.

  • May 18, 2012, 11:14 a.m. CST


    by Johnny Wrong people who don't "get" Anderson, Jarmusch, Lynch etc always come out with the "for art students to feel clever about pretending to like" shite. I "get" the above directors, and I fucking love them. There's not a single "pretentious" (seriously, look that word up sometime) bone in my body. I just like challenging cinema. Not everyone does. For them we have James Cameron and co.

  • May 18, 2012, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Tim Burton comaprison

    by Robusto

    Let's think about this. The guy who made PeeWee, two very different batman films, Beetlejuice, edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Big Fish, mars Attacks, a bad remake, a bad adaptation a bad musical... does the same thing over and over? Its like a like a modern film cliche to say everything Tim does is the same. Tonally those movies are very different. But he has taken infinitely more risks than Wes Anderson. Wes Ansderson has been covering the same cooky song for almost 20 years.

  • May 18, 2012, 11:24 a.m. CST

    I think you mean 'comparison'.

    by jasper Stillwell

  • May 18, 2012, 11:28 a.m. CST


    by Johnny Wrong

    ...pointless. Compare Jim Cameron to Michael Bay, fair enough. But Tim Burton to Wes Anderson? Gimme a break. Regardless of any similarities you THINK you see, these guys are making personal and idiosyncratic movies with no concern as to what's happening in films around them. Learn about cinema.

  • May 18, 2012, 11:36 a.m. CST


    by Robusto

    I wouldn't say most complaints about Anderson are people that don't 'get' him. The complaint is we do GET it. We GET it over and over and over again. We GOT it with Bottle Rocket, Rushmore and Tennanbaums. All great films. Anderson was a breath a fresh air, thats the problem, its stale air now. They are all tonally identical. he knows one song with a few variations. Lynch and Jarmusch are true artists. Saying people who don't like Anderson's films because they don't get it is incorrect. Liking Anderson films doesnt makes you a more interesting person.

  • I read this quote from another favorite Indie director of mine, Jim Jarmusch - "Aw, man, is that the only adjective they know? It's like every time I make a goddamn movie, the word 'quirky' is hauled out in the American reviews. Now I see it's being applied to Wes Anderson, too. All of a sudden, his films are quirky. And Sofia Coppola is quirky. It's just so goddamn lazy." For a short period of time I was getting frustrated that a Wes Anderson film was in the style of "a Wes Anderson" film. What I once loved I was now labeling as "quirky" or some other silly description. Reading that JJ quote just made me step back and realize how silly the reason for not liking his new films were. On DVD/Blu-ray I revisited both Life Aquatic & Darjeeling, but this time I was ready to fully embrace his style. Why wouldn't I? While I still have some minor problems with Life Aquatic, I love Darjeeling Limited now. And it was my least favorite WA film after I first saw it.

  • May 18, 2012, 11:51 a.m. CST

    I love Lynch but

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive, and Inland Empire are the same damn movie, a variation no doubt, but basically the same damn movie. Shit man, I don't care if someone puts out the same stuff that's similar, as long as it's good. Probably the same people that love when a director does a sell out film because it's basically the same shit everyone else puts out, just with little to nothing that makes the director special (see Spike Lee with the beyond overrated Inside Man that people adored, even though it was nothing more than a weak heist movie, but hey he did a big mainstream genre programer that worked so we just have to say it's amazing!!!).

  • And if the worst you can say about a film is that it's charming, than it (the film) must be doing right.

  • May 18, 2012, 12:07 p.m. CST


    by Johnny Wrong Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire being the same movie. And Mr Robusto. I think truly "getting" any director's film is just a matter of accepting and enjoying it for what it is. So in reality, if you're complaining about his repetition, then maybe you don't "get" him after all. He's not trying to re-invent the wheel, just make interesting films. And I never claimed liking any director's film output makes you more interesting. I merely stated that different types of film suit different people. I can personally enjoy anything from Michael Bay through John Waters, Russ Meyer, Ingmar Bergman, Jim Jarmusch to Steven Spielberg, as I just love cinema. All types. Some people don't like variety, and I'm not saying outright thet these people are dull, but...well, yes OK. I am saying they're dull. Very very dull. Variety truly is the spice of life.

  • Not sure that I agree it applies to all great directors, but the sentiment certainly seems to reflect the likes of Anderson, Lynch and others. The accusation of repeating oneself is, in my opinion, missing the point of their intentions. Think of it more as as trying to find the best way to express a theme/tone/etc. The things these kinds of directors have in common, aside from being obsessive, is that their films are highly personal (the flipside is self-indulgence, which is always a risk). Some audiences (myself included) appreciate being invited into a filmmaker's worldview if it is interesting and a bit different.

  • May 18, 2012, 12:22 p.m. CST

    IMO, it's easy to just see his style and nothing else...

    by Jay

    Stylistically his films are very upfront. Which can sometimes make it hard to look deeper. That was partially why I didn't gel with Life Aquatic or Darjeeling Limited the first time I saw them. All I saw was the "Wes Anderson" in them, and nothing more. While tonally his films are all very similar, it's his characters that I find completely unique. All of them. I was put off by Darjeeling, but upon a second viewing when I fully embraced it, I was finally able to view the brothers as they were presented. Being best friends with my own brother, I found their story extremely touching. Each were very well rounded and individual characters. Nothing about them was cliche either. The Marchant/Ivory & Satyajit Ray connections were a delight, too. And this not me saying people don't get his films. That's a silly statement. I completely understand not liking his style and thus his films. But to damn him for it? You're basically saying "don't be an individual. Only do what I like if you want my respect. Auteurs be damned!"

  • May 18, 2012, 12:23 p.m. CST


    by Johnny Wrong

    ...well put.

  • May 18, 2012, 12:28 p.m. CST

    How about some info on Cloud Atlas?!

    by illyGraham

    Cloud Atlas! Cloud Atlas! It screened, right? What's the deal, yo? Cloud Atlas will slap you in the face in December!

  • May 18, 2012, 12:38 p.m. CST

    It's like dog lovers vs. cat lovers

    by P

    Populist filmmakers are like dogs: they are there to serve, please and entertain. They try eagerly to give you what you want. But some filmmakers are like cats: they allow you to enjoy their company, but usually on their own terms. They don't seem to be as motivated to please you. Yet we enjoy their company, regardless. In fact, we grow to admire that they aren't there to indulge OUR whims, but their own. Some especially gifted filmmakers- Spielberg, Hitchcock, Kubrick- are both the dog and the cat. They make films that are both populist in their appeal and personal in their sensibilities. Yeah, ok. I went off the rails with that one. But you get what I mean. Or not. Meow.

  • Maybe Anderson should direct it then he'd do it. But it would be the most boring Ghostbusters film ever.

  • May 18, 2012, 1:12 p.m. CST

    I don't know Nolan. Dignity?

    by P

  • May 18, 2012, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Comparing Tim Burton to Wes Anderson

    by jasper Stillwell

    ...only in terms of common and responses to cinema, common understandings to authorship and taste around issues of style. Obviously I didn't make the post clear enough for you. I'll do my best, next time out, to learn a bit about cinema.

  • May 18, 2012, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Replace Wes Anderson's name in this TB with Quentin Tarantino

    by Somerichs

    A lot of what everyone's saying holds true for both. Among other things, each director's fingerprints are all over each of their respective films; each can be considered, to slightly differing degrees at this point, "indie" filmmakers; each has a unique sensibility that is very recognizable, and each one is making exactly the movies they want to make. The main difference being that Quentin's moviemaking sensibilities seem to be much more in tune with the general public, so even though I'd still consider him more "indie" than "mainstream," his films have managed to reach a much broader audience and seem (at least from the comments in this TB) to be much better regarded. In the end, it's really just a matter of taste. Wes's movies either speak to you, or they don't. Ditto for any other director out there.

  • May 18, 2012, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Really looking forward to this...

    by Mel Garga

    Rushmore is a masterpiece. I can watch the Life Aquatic over and over...probably one of my favorite films. And I can quote Bottle Rocket all day. His films, among many others, strike a cord with me. I find them incredibly amusing. Having said that, I also watched MacGruber for the first time and laughed my ass off. So, I don't know what category I fit into.

  • May 18, 2012, 1:53 p.m. CST

    somerichs, Tarantino is a cat AND a dog

    by P

    My dad saw Pulp Fiction and loved it. If he were to watch a Wes Anderson film, he'd probably shrug and say: Bill Murray was funny but I couldn't really get into into the story ;)

  • I know its become hip to bash Anderson (as well as Tarantino, Lucas, Jackson, Speilberg, basically ANY pop artist) but even his weakest film (Life Aquatic) has more soul and kindness in it than what most filmmakers are churning out these days. His films range from brilliant (Tenenbaums, Rushmore, Bottle Rocket, Mr. Fox) to a little less than brilliant (Darjeeling Limited, Life Aquatic) but great nonetheless.

  • May 18, 2012, 2:34 p.m. CST

    The difference between Tarantino and Anderson is

    by Adelai Niska

    After his first 2 movies were beloved, Tarantino noticed all the criticisms of his work and set out to deliberately go after those perceived weaknesses of Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. ie. Misogyny, racism, too macho, no females in RD. So his next few movies deliberately focused on women (Jackie Brown, Kill Bill, Death proof, and Inglorious Basterds are all female lead characters), JB had a black main character and a love story, KB was a story about maternal love, etc. basically, he listened to what people saw as flaws and ran straight at those flaws. Anderson's first 2 movies were also considered great, but Anderson's subsequent movies didn't look to embrace his weaknesses; instead his movies seem to draw on the same handful of strengths: quirky characters detached from reality, symmetrical frames, unusual colour choices. QT listened to critics and set to prove something. WA listened to praise and set to please that increasingly narrow audience.

  • May 18, 2012, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Man Anderson is Such A Fake

    by longloaddropper

    All he does is make the same movie over and over again. I am choking from his stale air! And for that matter Picasso was a huge fraud. So what he just drew the same square faced person every time. They call that art? Unbelievable! And don't get me started on Chaplin. Would it have killed him to play someone other than the tramp? And how bout John Ford. Dude was like totally stuck in the western genre. What gives with these frauds anyway?

  • May 18, 2012, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Life Aquatic gets better & better...just like the Big Lebowski does

    by future help


  • May 18, 2012, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Love Wes Anderson.

    by frank

    His movies are fun and touching, and generally uplifting in a non-schmaltzy way. There is a lot of melancholy as well, but the films don’t wallow in it. His only movie I haven’t really liked was Darjeeling Limited, and I was on some weird antidepressants when I watched that so I should probably give it another shot. This movie looks like classic Wes Anderson, so I am really looking forward to it.

  • May 18, 2012, 3:36 p.m. CST


    by Johnny Wrong

    ...your sentence construction is appalling. What does your last statement even mean? "...only in terms of common and responses to cinema, common understandings to authorship and taste around issues of style." WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK ARE YOU SAYING? I guess English is your third or fourth language, huh? Even if it were your second you'd have a greater command of it.

  • May 18, 2012, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Anderson hasn't missed one yet

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

    Darjeeling probably his weakest, but I enjoyed the hell out of that one, too. Can't wait to see this.

  • May 18, 2012, 3:54 p.m. CST

    and i'd be first in line to see a Wes Anderson Ghostbusters film

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

  • May 18, 2012, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Good post adelai

    by tomdolan04

  • Jurassic Park and the Fly. Best Owen Wilson performance? Maybe not. Not sure about that. Best old guy from Harry Potter movies- no question. Best Willam Defoe movie of all time. Best use of dolphins in a movie. Best use of a helicopter

  • Any Wes Anderson movie will always be better than Ghostbusters 3. Only movie from his filmography I haven't seen is The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and from those I've seen I didn't like Darjeelinj Ltd much at all. Rushmore, Bottle Rocket and Tenembaums are awesome... but not as awesome as Ghostbusters.

  • May 18, 2012, 7:22 p.m. CST

    The problem is all of his films are growers, all of them.

    by Billyeveryteen

    I keep scratching my head after each one but... Oh boy, the second or third time? Pure bliss. Do yourself a favor, If you've seen any of his films just once, please revisit it. You'll be glad you did.

  • I gather the review portion is mostly positive, though. So that's cool, at least.

  • We don't all have to love, or even like, the same things. And filmmakers with a particular style or vision tend to separate viewers more than those who don't. Wes Anderson definitely has "a thing" that he does. For me, his films are always worth checking out. And I actually love a couple of them passionately, with Tenenbaums being, easily, one of my five favorite films of all time. But there's a couple that don't quite "do it" for me, either. Like Life Aquatic, which I pretty much loath. That's the only one of his films that hasn't improved for me with repeat viewings.

  • May 18, 2012, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Got my Glock and Speedo ready in anticipation!

    by Phimseto

    Let's do this!

  • Get them in the crosshairs and take them down.

  • May 19, 2012, 3:50 a.m. CST

    Damnit Steve! Wes Anderson...

    by NeverTalksBack

    Is one of my favorite directors by far. Love all his films, the style, the music, the characters, the oddness, the relationships, the journey all the characters go on together. Never ever been disappointed by his work. If you don't like it you don't like it, really no need to trash it. As stated by several TBers, if you just embrace the world Anderson lays out it's much easier to go along for the ride, sometimes it takes more than one viewing. I have yet to see the so called "pretentiousness" of his movies. Can'y wait for Moonrise Kingdom The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is my favorite Wes Anderson movie by far. I can't explain quite what that movie does to me emotionally but it is kinda amazing. One of my top 10 favorite films & my favorite Bill Murray movie. ultratron WELL SAID! Sucha a crazy movie with Bill Murray at his finest!

  • May 19, 2012, 5:42 a.m. CST


    by jasper Stillwell

    Rule one: My bad, absolutely, never post whilst moving around on a phone, on a poor connection. Rule Two: Never get drawn into any discussions about cinema with a didactic troll who fixates on grammar over concepts.

  • May 19, 2012, 4:54 p.m. CST


    by Johnny Wrong

    ...wasn't grammar. Just plain bad writing. And as for the troll accusation...takes one to know one.

  • May 19, 2012, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Wes A. is not original

    by Sea Sick

    Granted, some of his movies are slightly amusing and fluffy, while trying to be meaningful. Yet, the pretense is just too much most of the time. The real problem is that Mr. Anderson is totally mimicking Mike Nichols style from 1967. Don't believe me? Simply watch 'The Graduate' and have your mind blown to the insane similarities. Doing a homage to a great director is one thing; Making your career off of aping someone else's stlye is just plain sad.

  • May 19, 2012, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Needless to say....

    by Sea Sick

    ..though he's not original, this still looks fun. A good, solid cast can offset the negatives. Still, better than all the action crap out there. I just wish Hollywood could get past this artsy for artsy sake phase. Make no mistake, this is a Hollywood thinking it's artsy. That's where the pretentiousness abounds. Bill Murray can do no wrong, though.

  • May 19, 2012, 11:46 p.m. CST

    didn't like his last few films but he is a change of pace

    by strykebr

  • May 21, 2012, 8:14 p.m. CST

    Glenn Close

    by betrali

    Did Quint mean to refer to Basic Instinct (Stone, Tripplehorn), or Fatal attraction (Close owned it)?