DID YOU READ

Every Wes Anderson Movie Ranked in Order of Twee-ness

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twee /twē/ adj.
1. Excessively or affectedly quaint, pretty, or sentimental.
2. When the scout leader character arranges his compass collection on a desk and then enters a pup tent to listen to a Herman’s Hermits B-side on a Peanuts record player.

Critically acclaimed director Wes Anderson has amassed a loyal following with his collection of whimsical movies filled with idiosyncratic characters. Distinct in their colorful art direction, playful camerawork, and childlike sensibilities, Wes Anderson movies are a polarizing lot. Some appreciate the offbeat sentimentality. Others would prefer to smash the life-sized diorama with a monogrammed Underwood typewriter. But wherever you fall on that spectrum, most movie lovers will have at least one Wes Anderson movie to appreciate, maybe even enjoy.

But in order to safely recommend a Wes Anderson movie, one must rank them on their levels of cloying sentimentality and have the viewers decide how much they can stomach. Here’s every feature-length Wes Anderson movie ranked by twee-ness.

8. The Darjeeling Limited

Although rife with quirky bickering stemming from childhood squabbles, the sibling rivalry and familial themes of The Darjeeling Limited are the least twee among Wes Anderson’s filmography. Maybe it’s because the main characters are only halfway emotionally stunted, or perhaps it’s the fact that nothing much really happens. Whatever the reasons, cinematic diabetics should be fine.


7. Rushmore

Dead mother? Check. Blackmail letter in crayon? Check. Serpico as a school play? Check. But there’s a certain feeling to Rushmore that’s antithetical to mawkishness and sets it apart from Wes’ other movies: anger. Reflected in its muted color scheme and how Bill Murray’s foil is more of a sad sack than a petulant man-child, this movie has a darker edge that many fans miss from Anderson’s later work.


6. Bottle Rocket

In his first feature-length picture, Wes Anderson incorporates his own trademark themes that went on to grow exponentially in his future work: arrested adulthood, callow exuberance, Salinger-esque relationships, and puppy love from a hopeless romantic. And while Bottle Rocket is certainly less twee than his more recent work, the twenty-something’s adolescent approach to wooing a motel chambermaid could invoke a sickening sugar high in some viewers.


5. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Chasing Claymation ocean life in Jacques Cousteau getups, the cast of The Life Aquatic is clearly living out Wes’ childhood fantasy. Their exploration vessel is detailed as a real-life clubhouse cross-section, their diving helmets come equipped with a transistor FM radio, and the sole female crew member is perpetually topless. Add a rocky relationship between a son and an estranged father, and it’s no surprise how Anderson could make a pirate attack seem cutesy.


4. The Royal Tenenbaums

Complete with POV character introductions, dry Alec Baldwin narration, and identifying dollhouse wardrobes, this is where Wes Anderson really began upping the stakes on the twee-ometer. Three lapsed child prodigies with steamer trunks of emotional baggage reunite under one roof to care for their supposedly ailing father. Children camp out in a museum, grown-ups cuddle in a tent listening to records, a puppy is run over: This is orange alert-level twee.


3. The Grand Budapest Hotel

A hypercolor madcap romp, The Grand Budapest Hotel is like The Great Muppet Caper broke out on a Marx Brothers set. Featuring characters with names like Madame Céline Villeneuve Desgoffe und Taxis and Inspector Henckels, as well as a flabbergasted bellhop and a snowsled chase scene, the threat of overdosing from whimsy is a clear and present danger when watching this movie. If it wasn’t for the sudden bursts of violence, we’d give this one the top spot.


2. Fantastic Mr. Fox

Before the trailer hit the web, moviegoers wondered how Anderson could put his signature touch on a stop-motion adaptation of a children’s story. But upon seeing the trailer, everyone realized, “Oh, it’s basically a woodland Wes Anderson movie.” With a movie palette that allows childlike sensibilities to soar, Fantastic Mr. Fox is exactly the sort of handmade film that a Wes Anderson character would act out from inside their pup tent.


1. Moonrise Kingdom

The cinematic equivalent of doing a kegstand with high fructose corn syrup, this is Wes Anderson at his most Wes Anderson-iest. An orphaned Cub Scout and a wise-beyond-her-years local girl give in to their prepubescent hormones, run away from home, and dance in their underwear to a lakeside record player. Practically ripped from the diary of a lovestruck adolescent and dragged through the shelves of a vintage thrift shop, this movie makes Garden State look like Chinatown. In other words, this is a make-it-or-break-it litmus test for the staunchest of Wes Anderson’s devotees.

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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