The Whimsical World of Wes Anderson

The trailer for Wes Anderson’s latest indie flick, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” was released last week. For those of you who are not familiar with Wes Anderson, here is a brief guide on the film director and his incredible movies.

Wes Anderson has created, written, and directed many iconic pieces of cinema. It all started when he met actor Owen Wilson in college, and decided to write and direct a short film. When “Bottle Rocket” was released in 1994, it was well-received, and Anderson and Wilson were given money to make it into a feature film. This was the first film Anderson directed, and the first film you should watch when diving into the world of Wes Anderson. The story is about of three friends and their overly elaborate plan to pull a very simple robbery and make a run for it. The main characters are brothers Luke and Owen Wilson, who appear in a majority of Anderson’s work. “Bottle Rocket” is a hysterical crime comedy that will give you a sense of the unique, artistic style that all of Anderson’s films possess.

“The Royal Tenenbaums” is Anderson’s most star studded movie featuring: Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, and Bill Murray. The film tells the story of an estranged family of prodigies who reunite after their father, Royal Tenenbaum, announces that he has a terminal illness. The screenplay is exceptional, and the humor is distinctive to Wes Anderson. You are guaranteed to laugh. The characters in “The Royal Tenenbaums” are so well-developed that you really feel like you know them by the end of the film. This is a one-of-a-kind movie and a must-see.

If you like extremely quirky humor, “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou” is perfect for you. Starring Bill Murray, the film is about Steve Zissou, an oceanographer who lost his partner to a mythical shark creature. He rallies a team of people, including his ex-wife (Anjelica Huston) and his “maybe” biological son (Owen Wilson), to find his partner. “The Life Aquatic” is an adventure, drama, and comedy all balled up into one enjoyable film. Murray’s performance as the irreplaceable Steve Zissou is phenomenal as he makes the film his own.

Anderson’s films are whimsical, and it is almost like he paints the scenes to create the highly stylized visuals that are present in his films. “Moonrise Kingdom” is a perfect example of this, and is definitely my favorite Wes Anderson film. “Moonrise Kingdom” is a love story between two young pen-pals who are unhappy with their current lives. They live on the small, secluded island of New Penzance, and decide to run away together and journey through the island trails. Sam Shakusky and Suzy Bishop have a love story unlike any other, and the madness that ensues after their escape is hilarious. Their running away incites a search party that involves the entire island and turns into a crazy chase for the two kids. The music composed by Alexandre Desplat (“The King’s Speech”) complements Wes Anderson’s artistic style. People of any age can enjoy the humor in this film, and it is arguably the best film Anderson has directed.

A few other notable films to watch are the family cartoon “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “The Darjeeling Limited” and “Rushmore.”

Once you get through the sequence of films leading up to the newest, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” you should be familiar enough with Anderson’s style to fully appreciate it. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is the complex story of Gustave H, a concierge at a grand hotel, and his lobby boy, who becoms his most trusted ally. This movie has a lot of hype surrounding it and I do not doubt that it will live up to Anderson’s other films. It also features an all-star cast and is bound to be a great.

Hop on Netflix, grab some popcorn and immerse yourself in the world of Wes Anderson. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is set to be released early 2014.


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