Russo Recap: Wes Anderson

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Ever since Wes Anderson released The Grand Budapest Hotel in 2014, I’ve been anxiously awaiting his next project. Finally, we’re only days away from the release of his next film Isle of Dogs on March 23rd and I couldn’t be more excited.

Wes Anderson is well known as a director for the immersive worlds he creates that can only be described as quirky and confectionary, both in the best way possible. Anderson’s movies are also well-known for his cast of returning collaborators that have appeared in or worked on many of his films, like Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, and Bill Murray.

Anderson’s new film tells the story of a young Japanese boy who sets off on an adventure to find his dog who, along with all the other dogs in the city, has been exiled to Trash Island. Like Fantastic Mr. Fox, this story is brought to life using stop motion animation. Although the movie hasn’t been released to the public, it has been garnering favorable reviews from critics. As of today, it still has a 97% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably re-watched all of Wes Anderson’s films within the past year, but if you’re not, hopefully I can refresh your memory with a few quick recaps! (Of course, I would also recommend having a Wes Anderson marathon before Isle of Dogs comes out!)

Bottle Rocket: Owen and Luke Wilson star as two men who can’t seem to perform a successful heist and the idea of a life of crime becomes very sweet. From before Wes Anderson was Wes Anderson.        

Rushmore: An infant Jason Schwartzman is precocious beyond belief yet knows very little about life and in effect, public school. He learns boundaries, the art of pranking, and he looks a little bit like Tom Cruise in the final scenes if you squint and stand far away.

*The Royal Tenenbaums: As always, gifted children do adjust poorly to adulthood, and while comedic, the sadness and the bittersweet nature of family are not hidden in this film. If you don’t know a lot about Wes Anderson, this is probably the movie you’ve heard of.

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou: This movie has everything: unpaid interns, a shark hunt, pirates and Cate Blanchett. This film puts red hats in the zeitgeist.

The Darjeeling Limited: A short film set in Paris precedes this feature, and consequently the entire film has a French flair even though it’s set on a train rolling through the countryside of India. Three brothers remember what it’s like to be family (and learn why you should never purchase a venomous snake).

Fantastic Mr. Fox: Mr. Fox tries to remember what it’s like to be a wild animal, and much eating and memorable toast-giving is done in the process. Anderson’s second heist film.

*Moonrise Kingdom: Misunderstood children flee from their families (or lack thereof) and are caught in a flood of biblical proportions. Frances McDormand once again plays a mother of a misunderstood child.

The Grand Budapest Hotel: Ralph Fiennes plays the most charming hotel concierge of all time in the most charming hotel of all time. From murder accusations, to prison breaks to a young, cake baking Saoirse Ronan, this movie really does have it all.

Happy watching!

*This is your warning that in these two films, something bad does happen to the dog.

Thumbnail image from Wikimedia Commons