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Wes Anderson: Most Divisive Director Ever or Celebrate His Whole Catalogue?

By Mike Roorda | Comment Diversions | September 13, 2013 |

By Mike Roorda | Comment Diversions | September 13, 2013 |

When talking with some friends recently one of them floated the theory that Wes Anderson is the most divisive director of our time. Not because he’s so avant garde or edgy that he makes us uncomfortable and confused, but because if you get ten people in a room who all like his films you will have ten very different opinions of his work, its high points and which ones were his clunkers.

I work with some pretty awesome folk, so at lunch we put this theory to the test. We figured out who had seen all of his feature length films; it helped if you could tick them all off without using IMDb. (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox and his most recent Moonrise Kingdom.)

Sure enough, my friend was right. NONE of us could come to consensus on his best/worst films. Not only did everyone have different views on the subject but they apparently were views that we all held with unreasonable and unrelenting fervor. Lines were crossed. Things were said. Some thought Darjeeling was a turd burger with stink sauce and that nothing would ever top Rushmore. One person insisted that The Royal Tenenbaums was clearly his best work and that Moonrise Kingdom was too cloyingly cute to be of any use to anyone.

Like I said, things got heated. So, why not unleash the same whirlwind here? Have at it folks. Of the movies one associates with Wes Anderson, which were his best and his worst so far? Give reasons. Irrationally passionate and incorrect as they may be, I wanna read them. For the record, if anyone says Rushmore didn’t blow goats and that the shot composition in Darjeeling wasn’t the most perfectly framed thing ever put to film they’re wrong, and stupid, and wrong.

(Publisher’s Note: Everyone knows that Bottle Rocket is the most rewatchable Wes Anderson, and that Life Aquatic is the most disappointing. How is this even a discussion! — DR

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.