It’s often stated that there are two genres that are continuously overlooked when it comes to the awards season in Hollywood, those genres consist of horror movies and comedy movies. Though this isn’t entirely true, particularly in the latter of the two, in fact there have been many comedy nominations over the past few years. Films like In Bruges, Juno, Tropic Thunder, Little Miss Sunshine and Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (or Borat for short) have all received nominations in some form or another. One particular writer/director has received six Academy Award nominations to date for his offbeat comedy films is Wes Anderson. Though his pictures perhaps require a certain taste they are extremely well crafted both in their comedic timing, performances and camera work that together make up a unique display unlike any other film out there. Each of his films are charming and enjoyable with their own merits, that being said here’s our attempt at piecing together the top 5.
Rushmore was first released in 1998 and was Wes Anderson’s second feature film. It was written by himself and Owen Wilson and starred Jason Schwartzman alongside Hollywood icon Bill Murray, two actors that would go on to appear in many more of his films after. Schwartzman plays a young schoolboy named Max Fischer who is enrolled at a private school named Rushmore where though he is the worst scholarly student that attends, he takes part in more extracurricular activities than any other. Murray plays a tired industrialist name Herman Blume whose sons attend the school also, though he finds them to be obnoxious. These two met during an assembly and form an unlikely friendship, though this is quickly put to the test. A new teacher is employed at the school named Rosemary Cross (played by Olivia Williams) that max inappropriately falls for, in an attempt to dissuade Max, Herman end up doing the same and the two become mortal enemies. Though This was Andersons second film it sets the tone for all of his further productions, we can see the birth of his lighter quirky style here whilst still broaching on realistic themes in a surprisingly personal tone.
4. Fantastic Mr. Fox
Here we see Anderson turn his unique gaze upon the world of animation for the first time. Though based on the Roald Dahl book of the same name it falls quite far from its source material. The film tells the story of Mr. Fox (George Clooney) who after a life of criminal activity decides to settle down when he finds out his wife (Meryl Streep) is pregnant. As time goes on however, he begins to get board of the everyday grind and decides to take on one last job, to rob the farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean, a decision that will change the family’s life forever. It’s a story of growing up and growing old, of family life and the change we all must undergo when responsibility rears its head told through some of the most quirky and quaint animation you’ll see. It’s original and charming and a bold move from everyone involved that I believe payed off.