WES ANDERSON: ‘Baby, Step Inside My Hyundai’

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PREVIOUSLY: The Magnificent Anderson

DAN BUSKIRK: In past films Anderson’s childish, self-involved characters could be frustrating as they moped around his immaculately dressed rooms yet this sort of navel-gazing magically transforms itself when transposed to sweet little woodland creatures.  And thankfully Roald Dahl’s original novel (adapted by Anderson with The Squid and the Whale‘s Noah Baumbach) gives them enough to do as they tunnel, fight and argue through their battles against the evil farmers Boggis, Bunce, and Bean.  Some of the film’s funniest moments are when the kvetching ends and the characters briefly behave like the animals they are; spitting, screeching and clawing their way through life. This makes Mrs. Fox’s frustrations hit their peak; why is Mr. Fox bringing such tumult into their lives?  “I’m an animal”, Mr. Fox replies apologetically. Perhaps the most perceptive insight any of Anderson’s likable-but-flawed protagonists have voiced about their long-nagging foibles. MORE

PREVIOUSLY: Natalie Portman Is Happy With Wes Anderson Nude Scene And, Hey, We Are Too

MAILBAG: Less Anderson

DEAR PHAWKER,
Normally i wouldn’t comment, but man, by my watch – phawker were the only ones that nailed the review. love wes anderson, but i thought critics by and large gave this movie a huge pass. when a movie’s is this dull, and strangly lifeless; anderson’s whole thing starts to feel like a formula to me. and when it starts to feel like a formula – it cheapens the memories of movie’s past.. and that is a drag. nice job on stepping out on this one.
–JIM SUTCLIFFE

PREVIOUSLY: The Royal Dressing Down
PREVIOUSLY: Live And Direct From The First Annual Philadelphia Wes Anderson Press Conference
PREVIOUSLY: We Had To Kill Wes Anderson, To Save Him

PREVIOUSLY: Near the end of The Royal Tenenbaums, Wes Anderson’s storybook cinematic fable of wasted potential, the character of Richie, a disgraced world-class tennis player with a dark secret, looks soulfully into the bathroom mirror. It’s impossible to say what he’s thinking–he looks scared, confused, angry, on the verge. A tensely strummed acoustic guitar spirals in the background, accompanying a hushed, faintly ominous vocal. It’s Elliott Smith’s “Needle in the Hay.” Richie picks up a scissors and methodically, if crudely, crops his shoulder-length tresses down to the scalp. He lathers up his lumberjack beard and shaves it clean. He stares hard in the mirror, unblinking, trying to recognize the face he sees. The music swells, whispery and unnerving. He nods slightly, pops the blade out of the razor and slashes his wrists. In the end, Richie Tenenbaum is saved. Elliott Smith was not. MORE

ELLIOTT SMITH: Needle In The Hay

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