Wesley Wales `Wes` Anderson is a fine filmmaker. Turning 48 today, he is known for his artful films which comprise a distinctive visual and narrative style. Regarded by many as a modern-day example of the auteur, he has received consistent praise from critics for his work and has won an Academy Award and BAFTA Award as well.
His films are mostly fast-paced comedies marked by more serious or melancholic elements, with themes often centered on grief, loss of innocence, dysfunctional families, parental abandonment, adultery, sibling rivalry and unlikely friendships. Highly character-driven, his films often feature thefts and unexpected disappearances.
He has been noted for his extensive use of flat space camera moves, obsessively symmetrical compositions, articulate patterns, snap-zooms, deliberately limited color palette (see picture above) and hand-made art direction. These stylistic choices give his movies a highly distinctive quality.
If we show you samples of various films, you will easily be able to point out the ones directed by him. That's the distinction we're talking about. He is arguably one of the most stylistically influential directors of his generation. Today, on his birthday, we have listed 5 of his best films so far. Note that he has not only directed, but also written and produced all of them. Enjoy!
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
This is the film that brought home the awards for Wes. Featuring an ensemble cast of Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton and many more, the film is about a concierge who teams up with one of his employees to prove his innocence after he is framed for murder.
2. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
Co-written with Owen Wilson, the film follows the lives of three gifted siblings who experience great success in youth, and even greater disappointment and failure after their eccentric father leaves them in their adolescent years. An ironic and absurdist sense of humor pervades the film.
3. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
This coming-of-age film tells an eccentric and adventurous love story. A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them.
4. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman play three brothers, who, after the death of their father, set out on a train journey across India, in an attempt to rediscover their lost bond. The experiences that they have force them to introspect.
5. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Here's a different one. This stop-motion animated film is based on Roald Dahl's children's novel of the same name. It`s about a fox who steals food each night from three mean and wealthy farmers. Fed up with the theft, they try to kill him by digging their way into the foxes` home, but the animals are able to outwit the farmers and live underground.