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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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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