“Fantastic Mr. Fox”

16 04 2010

For the record, finally saw Fantastic Mr. Fox, and loved it. It’s the first Wes Anderson movie since The Royal Tenenbaums that I loved from beginning to end, without any ‘lags,’ or that I loved unequivocally. Like pretty much all of his films, it feels very personal. This one has the most overt commentary on Anderson’s own career as an artist, with sly send-ups of the critical knifings he frequently receives (a character modeled after Jarvis Cocker sings a loose, improvised song, which is delightful, and then a character representing “The Man,” or “Critics,” comes up and upbraids him, saying, essentially, what are you doing? this is not a good song!, and the Jarvis character says I was making it up as I go along—a quick, effective, poignant summation of both Anderson as an artist and his relation to, frankly, a whole lot of misguided critics). It’s a sweet, emotional movie that is lots of fun, visually accomplished, and filled with poignant, sometimes perfectly wordless moments. To me, Anderson is quite obviously one of the most notable film directors we have, with a clear vision and sensibility, a generous, wry sense of humor, and a dedication to making his films as visually appealing, interesting, and fun as possible. To attack him for being himself, consistently, is pretty fucking silly. If who Wes Anderson is is someone who’s funny, ‘bourgeois,’ a little sentimental, into films, into music, and into art direction, why shouldn’t his films reflect that, every single time? What should he do, make a Very Serious Iraq War Movie?!

So yeah, I dig Fantastic Mr. Fox. For me, it joins the shelf with my favorite Anderson films, The Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore (second shelf, The Darjeeling Limited and The Life Aquatic; third shelf, Bottle Rocket). To conclude, and a propos of nothing other than Anderson being a cool, fun director, here’s my favorite scene from The Life Aquatic, one of the most sublime music cues imaginable:




2 responses

18 04 2010

Agreed, so good

19 04 2010

yeah man, it exceeded my expectations, for sure

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