Let’s be real: No one can really hit the mark when it comes to capturing the so-called Wes Anderson aesthetic. While there’s an actual Instagram account that collects symmetrical shots like a “Grand Budapest Hotel” screencap, it’s a different league when it comes to films.
Distinctive cinematography, quirky characters, an abundance of Owen Wilson. Other directors can’t really get that whole Wes Anderson™ package, but some sure know the essence of it. With dysfunctional families, eccentric storytelling and a mix of ingredients that make us believe in our oddities, here are a couple of films that take a page out of the auteur’s visionary book.
“The Submarine” (2010)
Dir. Richard Ayoade
No, this isn’t “The Life Aquatic” with Bill Murray. “The Submarine” was once dubbed a “winning homage” to Wes Anderson, and it’s pretty clear why. Directed by Richard Ayoade of “The IT Crowd” fame, the film is the coming-of-age tale of 15-year-old Oliver Tate, who may as well be the definition of “unpopular.” When a girl takes interest in him, it seems that things are turning out for the better—until his mom’s ex-boyfriend comes back to her life, that is.
“The Brothers Bloom” (2008)
Dir. Rian Johnson
It has Adrien Brody, need I say more? That aside, the earlier film of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “Knives Out” director Rian Johnson has a hidden gem with “The Brothers Bloom.” The Blooms are a pair of brothers tagged as the world’s best con men. Before they say goodbye to their life of crime, they take one last hit around the globe alongside an eccentric heiress who’s out looking for adventure.
“Little Miss Sunshine” (2006)
Dir. Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton
Dysfunctional family? Check. “Little Miss Sunshine” tags viewers along a very, very suffocating cross-country road trip with the Hoover family, who are just trying to get the youngest daughter to her beauty pageant in time. Hijinks issue, all in the confines of a bright yellow VW bus—and well, the wide-open road.
“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” (2016)
Dir. Taika Waititi
Outside vampire mockumentaries, “Thor” sequels and Nazi Germany, everyone’s favorite Kiwi Taika Waititi has “Hunt for the Wilderpeople,” a film that captures the Anderson-esque whimsical comedy. Things are going well when reclusive couple Bella and Hector become the adoptive parents of city boy Ricky. When Bella meets her untimely death, child services decide to pull Ricky back to the orphanage, causing both the boy and Hector to escape. Cue: a national manhunt in the New Zealand wilderness.
“The Fall” (2006)
Dir. Tarsem Singh
Set in a 1920s Los Angeles hospital, “The Fall” follows stuntman Roy Walker played by Lee Pace who befriends an injured young girl named Alexandria. He tells her tales of five mythical heroes on a mission to kill a corrupt governor, described in vivid detail with grand landscapes that blur the line between reality and fiction.
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