With the poster to 2018’s Isle Of Dogs released (found here), we have our first visuals on what we can expect from Wes Anderson’s ninth full length feature. This is the perfect opportunity to rank his first eight. Suggesting one of these is his worst film is ridiculous, but it has to be done.
The thing about Rushmore that differs from almost every one of Anderson’s features, is how unlikable the main character is. Jason Schwartzman does an incredible job of coming across as a snooty smart-ass, but that doesn’t make him anymore likeable. Without the intriguing lead, Rushmore never feels like it gets properly going.
7. Moonrise Kingdom
A controversial choice at seven, Moonrise Kingdom is often viewed as one of Anderson’s best but it’s not as advanced thematically as the majority of the others. It manages to portray young love incredibly naively and the use of the scout groups is so Wes Anderson it’s a cliche, but there isn’t enough substance within the plot to elevate it upwards.
6. The Darjeeling Limited
As an opposite to Moonrise Kingdom, The Darjeeling Limited is often viewed as Anderson’s worst, but there really is quality within the feature. With an experimental nature employed the film, which really isn’t seen in any of his other works, Wes holding onto his signature style, and manages to expand into the vast space of India and produce a heartfelt story about family relationships.
5. Bottle Rocket
Often dismissed for its un-Anderson style, Bottle Rocket is the debut feature from our favourite director. It is certainly the most raw of all of his films, but there is enough of Anderson’s directing prowess to turn the heist caper into, again, a relationship drama with a huge amount of heart and generous helping of the Wilson brothers.
4. The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou
Perhaps the most barbaric of all settings, The Life Aquatic puts Bill Murray, Anderson’s talisman, into a leading role. Again themes of family keep the film turning and without want of sounding ridiculous, this is the most symmetrical of all his films. Some of the negative reaction potentially comes from it being too stylised, but as far as Wes goes, this is quintessential to the set.
3. The Royal Tenenbaums
Wes Anderson will never create a film as thematically sound as The Royal Tenenbaums. It’s stunning in its connections between parents and children, and the imagination behind how this affects the children’s children is marvellous. Gene Hackman is wonderful, and it’s the film in Anderson’s repertoire with the most substance, and answers any scrutiny with pure style.
2. Fantastic Mr. Fox
Wes’ only animated feature to date (Isle Of Dogs to come), is the adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s novel Fantastic Mr. Fox. With the stop-motion technique used in its most intricate of fashions, the film is an absolute wonder. Losing out on the academy award for best animated feature, to Up, was (in my opinion), a travesty. The way Anderson transitions his style to animation is seemless and the scene with the cider bottles still amazes me to this day.
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
Without doubt, Wes’ best work. It’s the funniest of his films, it’s the most pleasing of his films, and it’s the most riveting of his films. Fuelled by a criminally underrated Ralph Fiennes lead, the cast gloriously play out a completely unique adventure. From the incredible costumes to the beautiful design, this is the perfect Wes Anderson film. I am convinced he will never make a better feature, but if he does, we are in for a treat.
Let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments below!