Wes Anderson, who’s known for his eccentric visual aesthetics and distinctive storytelling style, has established himself as one of the industry’s most whimsical filmmakers. In honor of his 52nd birthday on May 1, 2021, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at our favorite films on his roster, which — spoiler alert! — is all of them. Starting us off is 2014’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Set in the 1930s, the crime-comedy flick follows Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes), the exceptional concierge at the popular titular European ski resort in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka. Along with the help of his recently befriended protege, Zero (Tony Revolori), Gustave confidently satisfies all the requests and needs of the wealthy hotel guests — but when one of the women he’s been involved with turns up dead, Gustave unwittingly finds himself at the center of her murder investigation. The film, which features a 17-person ensemble cast that includes Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray and Saoirse Ronan, earned nine nominations at the 2015 Academy Awards including best picture, best director and best original screenplay. It took home the honors for best original score, best production design, best costume design and best makeup and hairstyling. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and YouTube. Keep reading for more…
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“The Royal Tenenbaums” on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube & Apple TV
Starring Danny Glover, Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson and Owen Wilson, 2001’s “The Royal Tenenbaums” tells the story of a dysfunctional family that includes three incredibly intelligent siblings who’ve failed to live up to their potential as adults. They reunite after their father, Royal Tenenbaum, gathers them all together under the false pretense that he is terminally ill. At the 2002 Academy Awards, Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson (who co-wrote the script) earned a nomination for best original screenplay.
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“Moonrise Kingdom” on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV & YouTube
Released in 2012 and set in 1965, “Moonrise Kingdom” tells the story of two madly in love 12-year-olds, Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward), who escape to a New England island to be together freely — but the start of their new life is complicated by an approaching storm that prompts a group of zany adults to rescue the young lovebirds before they’re seriously harmed. The coming-of-age dramedy, which features an ensemble cast that includes Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton, earned an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay.
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“The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV & YouTube
Written by Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach (who penned the 2020 Academy Award-nominated film “Marriage Story”), “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” tells the story of acclaimed oceanographer Steve Zissou (Bill Murray), who is joined by an eclectic duo — his alleged son (Owen Wilson) and a pregnant journalist (Cate Blanchett) — as he seeks revenge against a shark that claimed the life of one of his crew members. On their quest for vengeance, Steve and his companions encounter peculiar entities in the sea.
“Isle of Dogs” on Disney+, Apple TV & Amazon Prime Video
What happens when your best friend is exiled to a massive garbage dump? You go on a tedious quest to locate and save him! In 2018’s “Isle of Dogs,” 12-year-old Atari (Koyu Rankin) embarks on a quest to find his bodyguard canine, Spots (Liev Schreiber), after the mayor of Megasaki City banishes all dogs to Trash Island. Along the way, Atari cultivates a group of canine companions who help him in his efforts. Wes Anderson once against assembled an all-star ensemble cast for this one with Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Ken Watanabe, Greta Gerwig and Frances McDormand providing the voices for the stop-motion animated comedy.
“The Darjeeling Limited” on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, YouTube & iTunes
2007’s “The Darjeeling Limited” follows three estranged brothers — Francis (Owen Wilson), Peter (Adrien Brody) and Jack (Jason Schwartzman) — who reunite in India for the first time following their father’s death. As they continue to struggle with their respective personal lives, they soon come to learn the real reason they’ve come together after all this time: to see their mother, who is part of a Himalayan convent. The dramedy, which includes appearances from Natalie Portman, Bill Murray, Camilla Rutherford and Irrfan Khan, earned $35 million on a $17.5 million budget.
“Bottle Rocket” on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube & Apple TV
1996’s “Bottle Rocket” — which marked Wes Anderson’s feature film debut — follows recently released mental institution patient Anthony (Luke Wilson), who finds himself embroiled in a ridiculous crime spree with his friend Dignan (Owen Wilson) and their neighbor Bob (Robert Musgrave). After setting out on their adventure, the trio has to come to grips with the fact that they don’t know the first thing about being criminals. The film, which was based on Wes’s 1994 short film of the same name, also marked the Wilson brothers’ acting debuts.
“Rushmore” on Cinemax, YouTube, Google Play & Apple TV
Co-written by Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson, 1998’s “Rushmore” tells the story of upstanding student Max (Jason Schwartzman), who falls for a new teacher at his prep school (Olivia Williams). In an effort to win her affection, Max enlists the help of Herman Blume (Bill Murray), the father of his two friends. The only problem? Herman begins to fall for her too. For his performance in the coming-of-age film, Bill earned a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor. “Rushmore” also marked Jason’s feature film debut.
“Fantastic Mr. Fox” on Disney+, YouTube, Apple TV & Google Play
2009’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” — which was co-written by Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach — chronicles the repercussions the aforementioned fox is forced to face after he jeopardizes his marriage and his fellow animal friends by revisiting his farm-raiding antics after 12 years of living pastorally. Now, with his human neighbors — Boggis (Robin Hurlstone), Bunce (Hugo Guinness) and Bean (Michael Gambon) — seeking retribution, Mr. Fox (George Clooney) must find a way to protect those he’s selfishly endangered. In addition to earning $46.5 million at the box office, “Fantastic Mr. Fox” also received a nod for best animated feature at the 2010 Academy Awards.
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