Let's Talk Wes Anderson


This guy’s done The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, Rushmore, and a few other films. I’ve seen the first two mentioned and I’ll be watching Rushmore soon. But just from two films I really like his style. There’s something really entertaining about his cinematography (he’s pretty much obsessed with the rule of thirds) and how he uses color and contrast. His films are comedic but also emotional. For some reason he reminds me vaguely of Tim Burton and David Lynch (Burton with his quirkiness, Lynch with the strange characters and situations). I always wondered how he developed such a unique style.

What do you guys think of Wes?


I like Wes’ aesthetic, the symmetry is amazing and his colour pallets are always interesting and make his films instantly recognizable. Also, word on the street is that Wes is interested in doing a horror movie next. How do you think that would turn out?


It would probably still be a comedy, of course. Although one line in this interview interested me:

With the kind of movies I do, you’re supposed to say is this part supposed to be funny, or is this part supposed to be sad? Well, you say, I don’t know. I’m not sure. This is the way we wanted it.

I sometimes feel that way with some of Anderson’s scenes. You can kind of tell what you should be feeling but you’re not sure. Sometimes that works but a lot of times it doesn’t…at least for me. As much as I love the guy some scenes just don’t do it for me. It can be hard to draw an emotion out of scene when there’s no intended emotion at all. That’s why I’m looking forwards towards an Anderson horror film–I think it would be much more of an emotional roller-coaster.


I think a Wes Anderson horror film will be very interesting because so much of his style relies on deadpan humor and symmetry. Anderson and horror both break filmmaking norms of balance but in opposite directions, horror often relies on creating inbalance in order to create suspense and help disturb the audience while Anderson usually has frames that are perfectly balanced which also confuse the audience but in a different way


Wes Anderson is probably in my top 5 favorite directors.Grand Budapest Hotel was great, I absolutely loved and adore that film to this day. IT SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE OSCAR INSTEAD OF BIRDMAN!!! AHHHHH!

But in all seriousness, I love Anderson’s quirky and symmetrical style. The colors and framing of Grand Budapest Hotel definitely make it recognizable as a Wes Anderson film. Moonrise Kingdom was also great because of the connection with the story and characters, and I found some deep similarities in the story line and plot of Moonrise Kingdom to Grand Budapest Hotel. It seems like he loves the rule of thirds, and that’s awesome because that style belongs to him, no one else frames every single one of their shots with the rule of thirds, at least so perfectly like he does.

As far as the horror movie goes, I think this is going to be one of the most interesting things happening in modern Hollywood to date. His quirky, symmetrical, and overall dry-emotion, this is going to be really fun and really cool to watch. I’m really curious as to what he will come up with in a genre that no one ever expected him to visit.


Really? Moonrise Kingdom and the Grand Budapest Hotel aren’t anything like each other at all. I’d consider MR the superior film because it had better characters and emotion, and it was more fun to me. I didn’t care as much as for the characters in the GBH–mainly because they weren’t very likeable (kind of like Rushmore, in that way).

Quirky horror can be done–just look at Tim Burton or David Lynch. But yeah, he might have to drop the symmetrical style. He could do a hand-held approach, as he occasionally likes doing.


Also, I found this little gem. The US State of the Union, done as a Wes Anderson film:


@Sean_F I totally agree!! I would LOVE to see a Wes Anderson horror movie. I just said on a different thread that he uses careful movement, precise cuts, and minimalism so well to evoke deep feelings. It would be amazing to see what would happen if the imagery he was using was dark instead of pretty or silly. Maybe it would come out reminding me of Kubrick… If it ever happens, I would be first in line.


I like Wes Anderson sense of style and i think in this increased age of the blockbusters and remakes, he stands with a few other directors as an american auteur. I will say he did have a bit of a stall in his career with the Life Aquatic and The Darjeeling Limited but i think he found his way again with Fantastic Mr. Fox and especially The Grand Budapest.

I remember i had a moment with him where i was working at a movie theater for a number of years so i was watching all the movies that came out and then I went to watch The Grand Budapest Hotel. It made me realize a lot of things, that a lot of mainstream movies look and feel the same from a color grading, cinematography, and story structure wise. Another was that we have leaned away from original stories and interesting filmmaking. He is one of the last filmmakers along with David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino, and Paul Thomas Anderson who can get a decent budget for really well done interesting films.


I am definitely on the same page with you about The Grand Budapest. It was refreshing and beautiful, and had some truly great moments of acting by Ralph Fiennes. He is such a musical actor - exorcising terrific timing and judgement.

I would argue that The Darjeeling Limited is a special movie, however. I didn’t really enjoy it the first time I saw it, but have since revisited it (after getting married and losing my own dad) and it now ranks pretty highly for me. I think it resonates more deeply than some of his other movies and doesn’t let you off the hook as easily with humor. It seems like he is revisiting a lot of the questions and themes he was looking at in The Royal Tenenbaums from a different perspective - parentage, loss, responsibility, growing up, selfishness vs. self preservation etc. I encourage you to take another look if you haven’t viewed it in awhile…


@gfring26 @CFG I’m mildly upset none of you guys are mentioning Moonrise Kingdom. I think that was his best film, and if not, I think it’s certainly the most magical I’d give it a 9.9/10, mainly for that scene.


@knifebladepresents we just haven’t gotten there yet!! Moonrise Kingdom is WONDERFUL. It and Royal Ts are the movies I think of first to illustrate my earlier point that Anderson uses stillness, minimalism, cuts, and style to convey and evoke deep emotion. That love story it one of my very favorites, and MK is one of the greatest examples of how to best blend film and music out there.


I found with Wes Anderson his movies tend to do better when you has one really dynamic performer at the center of it. I think thats why Royal, Rushmore, Fox, and Grand are among his better films. I think the problem i have with him sometimes is that deadpan can be taken a little too far and i had that problem with The Life Aquatic.

I like the Darjeeling Limited but i think the problem i had with it was i saw it as him kind of regressing a bit. Its not that i think its bad just one of his lesser works. I also wonder if not having Owen Wilson as a screenwriting partner affected the feel of the films as well


True, that’s the problem I had with Aquatic and Limited–the characters seemed so dry I had trouble relating to them at all.

That being said…don’t for get this scene https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPMf8G8Pi5o


Oh i could never forget that scene. I think Wes Anderson has gotten Bill Murray to deliver some of his best acting. I think one of the best acting moments I’ve ever seen from Bill Murray is in Rushmore when Max takes him to meet his dad. There is a really brief look on Billy Murray’s face that goes from confusion to realization and it says so very much.