The Grand Budapest Hotel. I dig it. It’s got the usual fussy-awesome art direction and some technically interesting camera stuff, but what I really liked here: a good heart. Didn’t have much of the rooted dysfunction or cynicism or weariness that made some of his previous movies kind of a drag for me at times. I think I’ll call this my favorite of the Wes Anderson movies I’ve seen.
Moonrise Kingdom. Wes Anderson is simply not my director. When I wrote about Bottle Rocket, I had the thought:
I wonder if I’d like his movies more if I’d seen them as serials?
I wonder about this because the structural repetition really wears on me over the course of a movie. Repetitive framing, symmetry, truck here, pan there, dolly now and then. It’s like a slideshow sometimes. I respect the precision and fastidiousness, but for most of it I just couldn’t sustain an emotion beyond “that’s kinda neat”. Because I have no heart, basically. Or I don’t function well with magical realism. Or because the script is on the bad side, and while there’s invention, there are no surprises. Everything tidy, labeled, anticipated. It’s not terrible, though. Just frustrating. I did LOL on multiple occasions. And using The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra to open the movie, and then mirroring that work, was clever. Kids run away (main theme), then we follow reactions by the group of scouts, the scout leader, the cop, the parents, and social services (variations). My rankings for Anderson’s films that I’ve seen:
- The Darjeeling Limited
- The Royal Tenenbaums
- Moonrise Kingdom
- Bottle Rocket
Rushmore. This is my second Wes Anderson film (previously). I knew next to nothing about it before I started, maybe some prepping would have helped. In the end I say, “not worth it”. I almost didn’t finish. Next up, Royal Tenenbaums.
The Darjeeling Limited. This is the first Wes Anderson I’ve ever seen. I liked it, but didn’t fall in love with it. Strange feeling to have such a wandering, aimless plot captured with such anal precision.