I’ve been a Wes Anderson fan ever since I saw Bottle Rockets. Although it was released in 1996, I didn’t see it until six years later, when my brother moved into my apartment in Santa Fe and brought his insanely large movie collection with him. Containing everything from the 1928 black and white The Passion of Joan of Arc to the seminal comedy Dude, Where’s My Car, Luke’s 300+ DVDs meant that we never had to rent another movie (this was pre-Netflix, when I was still getting late fee charges from those bastards over at Blockbuster).
So: Bottle Rockets. It kick-started my obsession with Mr. Anderson & Co: the Wilson brothers (Owen, Luke and the underused Andrew), Jason Schwartzman and Kumar Pallana. I’m not including Bill Murray, because I’ve always loved him, and I didn’t need Wes Anderson to kick-start anything in that department.
Honestly, though, all of Wes Anderson’s film are magical. I know: gag. The word magical gets overused (and misused). I racked my brain (and online thesaurus) to find a synonym, but then realized that magical is actually the perfect word. A Wes Anderson film transports me into a world just different enough from mine to be enchanting. It’s like being in a sophisticated fairy tale populated by dryly humorous and hyper-intelligent
Watching Moonrise Kingdom last night reminded me of why I love Mr. Anderson’s movies. The adults act like children while the children pretend to be adults, giving the dialogue this layered edge of humor and sadness. Each frame is shot beautifully with a perfectionist’s attention to detail. And while the dialogue is slightly stylized, there is something true at the core of what each character is saying, so every laugh or lump in the throat elicited by a particular scene feels earned, not manipulated.
There are movies that make you think, that terrify you (I don’t actually watch those as I have an over-active imagination and would sleep with the lights on for a week), that are trivial cream puffs and those that fill you with the pure joy of being entertained on a higher level. I just hope Wes Anderson has something ready for cinematic release in 2013.