In honor of the newly released “Isle of Dogs,”I have compiled a list of my top 3 favorite films from the visionary director, Wes Anderson.
1.) “Rushmore” (1998)
Though the other two films on this list demonstrate a more refined showcase of Anderson’s appealing aesthetic and acerbic wit, the undeniable charm of “Rushmore” has ensured it a special place in my heart. Jason Schwartzman plays Max Fischer, a peculiar teenager at Rushmore Academy who receives poor grades, yet participates in nearly every extracurricular activity. The film follows several of Max’s budding relationships, one of which includes the unlikely friendship of Herman Blume, a wealthy industrialist played to perfection by Bill Murray.
Max develops a crush on Rushmore’s newest teacher, Rosemary Cross. Their one-sided affair incites several cringeworthy scenes that often inspire pity for poor, misguided Max. Though it is not a perfect film, the immense heart conveyed by Schwartzman as Max Fischer, as well the gentle reminders of how hard is to be a teenager, render “Rushmore” my favorite coming-of-age film.
2.) “The Royal Tenenbaums” (2001)
As a fan of ensemble casts, “The Royal Tenenbaums” proves to be a hilarious showcase of its varied talent. Gene Hackman and Anjelica Huston star as Royal and Etheline Tenenbaum, the parents of three incredibly gifted children played by Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller and Gwyneth Paltrow. The dysfunction of the Tenenbaum family is evident from the beginning of the film; after the separation of their parents, the Tenenbaum children are abandoned by Royal as adolescents.
The primary plot concerns his attempt to reconnect with his now adult children. Each character is cleverly crafted with humorous and endearing backstories. Despite the inherent quirk, the film also contains profound themes of love, loss, and family life. The masterful balance of beautiful cinematography and a clever yet poignant story render “The Royal Tenenbaums” an engaging watch.
3.) “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (2014)
Perhaps the funniest of Anderson’s films, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is also the most visually impressive. Ralph Fiennes stars as Monsieur Gustave, the famed concierge of the once revered Grand Budapest Hotel. After the mysterious death of a client, Gustave is considered a suspect in her murder, as well as a recipient of her will. Both elaborate and inventive, the film includes several storylines replete with varied characters, all of whom work to provoke thoughtful themes of nostalgia and loyalty.
There you have it, folks! If you also identify as a fan of Wes Anderson, email Film Society President Will Caterham at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about an upcoming weekend trip to D.C. The club will be viewing both “Moonrise Kingdom” and “Isle of Dogs,” as well as potentially seeing Wes Anderson himself! Limited spots are available, so don’t wait!