Sunday, April 27, 2014

Wes Anderson Rated

As you can see from the list below I've been disappointed by Wes Anderson for well over a decade now. I loved Anderson's first two films, the eccentric caper movie Bottle Rocket and Rushmore which is one of the greatest films of the 90's. But then success seemed to damn Anderson and all his enjoyable directorial tics became full blown directors Tourettes. Anderson has always been twee and mannered and eccentric and that can be a good thing but for the last five or six films - for me at least - it has been painful to watch. I've felt like quite the idiot trundling along to the latest Wes Anderson film handing over my money and expecting the new work to be as good as Bottle Rocket or Rushmore and when it wasn't, walking out of the cinema disappointed with myself as much as Anderson. But then last night I saw Grand Budapest Hotel and finally I felt that it was a return to form. Based on the stories of Stefan Zweig and co-written with Hugo Guinness Grand Budapest Hotel has what the last four Wes Anderson films have been lacking: a ton of heart and a ton of plot. Ralph Fiennes plays a sophisticated, mercurial, sweary Central European hotel manager who gets mixed up in 1930's politics, art theft and murder. I particularly enjoyed the model sequence ski chase which is a pastiche of the opening of the 1930's Hitchcock classic The Lady Vanishes. 
Anyway here's my rating of Anderson's filmography. This, I know, will enrage Anderson fanboys who think everything he makes is a masterpiece. A is a classic, B is very good, C is ok, D is disappointing, E is very disappointing and F is, well, a Fail I'm sorry to say. 

1996 Bottle Rocket A
1998 Rushmore A
2001 The Royal Tenenbaums B
2004 The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou E
2007 The Darjeeling Limited F
2009 Fantastic Mr Fox ?
2012 Moonrise Kingdom F
2014 Grand Budapest Hotel A