Wes Anderson

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The-Grand-Budapest-Hotel-Poster_header

Wes Anderson‘s latest foray into the world of forbidden love is a little more off-kilter than 2012′s sweet childhood romance Moonrise Kingdom. It’s not that Sam and Suzy’s budding union was all sunshine and butterflies; it’s just that The Grand Budapest Hotel‘s events are set off by a mustachioed Ralph Fiennes having relations with an 84 year-old Tilda Swinton. Fiennes plays a top-notch concierge named Gustave H., who takes on an apprentice and confidant to shadow him in all his endeavors. When Swinton’s wealthy heiress suddenly dies, all hell breaks loose as her gang of relatives come after him (“I go to bed with all my friends,” he purrs to her son Adrien Brody. Brave man.) as they realize she’s left some very valuable assets to him in her will. There’s also a small predicament that some believe that he may have murdered her as well. The film appears to be told through the eyes of Gustave’s apprentice, meaning we’re getting a look at a very ridiculous world of adults, even if he truly believes it to be serious and respectable. In true Andersonian fashion, the landscapes are lush, the hotel is ornate and the colors are vibrant; even if the situation is grim, it’s kind of a world you want to be immersed in. Favorite shot of an adult doing a silly task: Willem Defoe riding a motorbike with tiny goggles. Check out the trailer here:

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Wes Anderson

If there is one thing that filmmaker Wes Anderson excels at (and, yes, he excels at more than just one thing – but this is a poster appreciation piece, not a Wes Anderson appreciation piece, though there’s always time for that later), it’s infusing his films with playful, colorful, and creative imagery, and his ability to do that has only gotten better with time (remember those wonderful YA books from Moonrise Kingdom?). Yesterday’s release of the first poster for his upcoming The Grand Budapest Hotel only speaks to Anderson’s apparent interest in crafting visually rich films that carry over their aesthetic to every piece of related marketing. That’s a florid way of saying that we love that damn poster and we can’t way to see more from the film in that same vein. But until we get more Andersonian posters (perhaps another character poster run, like the charming set from Fantastic Mr. Fox?), we’ve still got plenty of old work to flip back through and admire. Sure, things might have been rough (well, poster-wise) in the beginning of Anderson’s career, but they’re pretty stunning right now. Anderson’s films have, of course, also sparked plenty of alternate poster art – from home video cover art to fan-made one sheets to special edition pieces from established artists – but for this appreciation, we’re going straight theatrical. It’s like being back in the halls of your local multiplex! After the break, take a look at our totally subjective, wholly unscientific ranking of thirteen theatrical movie posters for Wes Anderson’s […]

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The-Grand-Budapest-Hotel-Poster_header

The poster for Wes Anderson‘s latest, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is a pretty little thing. And there’s no dispute that it’s one of his films; the poster has the trappings of an Anderson production written all over it. The intricate, palacial hotel looks like a dollhouse nestled in a storybook with a rickety but charming marquee spelling out the title. The only way this would be more Andersonian is if the front of the hotel was removed so you could see what all of the guests were doing in each of their rooms on every floor. I’m assuming that will happen at some point during the movie, though.

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Grand Hotel

It’s actually a little embarrassing that I didn’t make the connection between Wes Anderson‘s upcoming Grand Budapest Hotel and the 1932 Best Picture Winner Grand Hotel before. It’s all right there in the names — not to mention the large ensemble casts. Now that Screen Daily has provided a synopsis for Anderon’s flick, the similarities really shine: “The Grand Budapest Hotel tells of a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars and his friendship with a young employee who becomes his trusted protégé. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting, the battle for an enormous family fortune and the slow and then sudden upheavals that transformed Europe during the first half of the 20th century.”

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Jane Got a Gun from Malick

The Jane Got a Gun production has been a wild ride. After losing director Lynne Ramsay just before shooting started they pulled in Gavin O’Connor with the quickness, but the Natalie Portman-starring film was in limbo for at least a weekend. So, our old friend Sleepy Skunk put together a mashup of what the movie might look like if Terrence Malick, Wes Anderson or J.J. Abrams replaced Ramsay — but not before the production managed to lose Jude Law, throwing even this video into question. It’s really hard to keep up with this one. Nevertheless, sit back and enjoy playing What If with us, will you?

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Moonrise Kingdom Interactive Script

The team behind Moonrise Kingdom has done something that should be done for all major scripts: an interactive version that features maps, images from the movie, set photos, and early sketches. The work from Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola is currently being celebrated by the Academy Awards, but fans of the film should devour this regardless of whether the screenplay wins gold. So don’t be a traitor to your family. Go sift through and marvel at this beautiful edition of the Moonrise Kingdom script. What other screenplays would you want to see given this treatment?

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Maggie Gyllenhaal

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that’s been out of work since casting agents seem to be treating the week between Christmas and New Years as one prolonged food coma. If there’s one thing that Jurassic Park taught us, it’s that nature finds a way. Well, casting finds a way too. In a week where there isn’t any news getting leaked to the trades, leave it to Albuquerque Business First to break a new scoop. The eagle eyes over at The Film Stage noticed that, in an article about how that Michael Fassbender-starring rock and roll comedy called Frank is coming to town to shoot, the local source managed to break the news that Maggie Gyllenhaal is coming to town with it. Her involvement in the film sees her joining a cast that includes not just Fassbender, but two of the young MVPs of 2012, Domhnall Gleeson and Scoot McNairy, as well. Which, you know, makes her one of the luckiest ladies in the world.

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Don’t call it a skater film. And definitely don’t dismiss it for being a documentary. Only the Young is simply an extraordinary real-life teen movie, one I’ve previously compared favorably to the fiction works of John Hughes and Cameron Crowe. It’s like Pretty in Pink and Say Anything mashed together but true and even more honest and heartwarming and beautifully shot. The film follows best friends Garrison and Kevin, who are skateboarders and evangelical Christians and punk fans and, most importantly, just teenage boys. We also meet Skye, a girl who Garrison dates then breaks up but stays close friends with. She’s dealing with looming foreclosure on her home, while the guys explore abandoned houses and mini-golf courses, all of this making for a timely story of youth amidst the depressing economic landscape of America in recent years. But it’s also a timely story that anyone who is or once was a kid can genuinely relate to. Only the Young, which opens in New York City this Friday, is the debut feature of Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims, whose own proximity to their teenage years (they were in their early twenties while filming) benefited their film’s ability to capture such a candid, casual record of a trio at certain uncontrollable crossroads of life. It’s a sweet film, one I fell in love with and will name as one of the best of 2012, and not just for documentary. I chatted with the two directors earlier this week about the making […]

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Nicolas Cage

What is Casting Couch? It’s your Monday look at all of the great work casting agents and PR people did over the weekend to keep those Hollywood gears turning. UPDATED: We dreamed too soon, kids. It seems like Sylvester Stallone is fully committed to his experiment of figuring out how many big name celebrities have to be packed into an Expendables movie before one of them actually becomes interesting. The latest news regarding his quest (found on Stallone’s Facebook page by JoBlo) is that Nicolas Cage has been confirmed for a role in The Expendables 3, and that Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, and Mickey Rourke are the names he intends on recruiting next. You keep on trucking there, Mr. Stallone. With the addition of just five or ten more celebrities, The Expendables 3 is bound to be the one that finally gets out of first gear and actually becomes a decent action movie. We have faith!

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Michael Fassbender

What is Casting Couch? It’s where you go to make sure Elijah Wood is adding another new job to his calendar every day. Turns out, today he kept the streak alive, read on… Colin Firth and Michael Fassbender are two of the best actors on the planet Earth; objectively, inarguably. What a coup, then, that director Michael Grandage has landed both of them for his upcoming project, Genius. Based on a book by A. Scott Berg, Genius is a biopic that explores the relationship between Thomas Wolfe (Fassbender) and his editor Max Perkins (Firth). Turns out Wolfe and Perkins were great friends, but the kind who butted heads over everything. Sure, listening to two guys argue over word choice wouldn’t normally sound like a very exciting idea for a movie, but with these two actors on board it absolutely does. Add this one to your to-do list. [Variety]

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Jason Schwartzman

Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom followup, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is a movie that’s shrouded in a (relatively thin) veil of secrecy. Sure, we know that it’s going to be about a hotel, and we know that it’s going to feature an ensemble cast, but as far as specifics regarding who exactly will be in the cast and what specifically the story is about go, Anderson is keeping his lips sealed. Despite his unwillingness to spill any of the precious beans, however, a couple names have been confirmed over the past few days.

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Johnny Depp to Start in The Grand Budapest Hotel

Notoriously meticulous director Wes Anderson seems to be speeding up his usual development process – which generally produces a new film every three years – and putting together the pieces for his next project. Hot on the heels of his successful, pubescent kids dancing in their underwear movie, Moonrise Kingdom, comes The Grand Budapest Hotel, an Anderson-penned script that is said to feature an ensemble cast, but is a mystery as far as character breakdowns or synopsis are concerned. News of the new Anderson project broke a little over a week ago, when Twitch reported they’d heard the director had begun casting on a new film, and that he was in various stages of negotiations with Johnny Depp, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jude Law, Jeff Goldblum, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, and Angela Lansbury. A list of names that talented and notable may sound like wishful thinking, but a report from Deadline Clute now confirms that at least some of it is true. Not only did they get their hands on the title of the film, but they’re also reporting that Depp has been wrapped up and is officially set to star.

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Criterion Files

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Moonrise Kingdom. Wes Anderson is known for getting his inspiration from a variety of sources. While Anderson’s signature visual quirks make his films unquestionably his own, the director’s images, themes, and characters also emerge through an amalgamation of materials that inspire him, whether the source be the stories of J.D. Salinger or the pathos of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts. But most of Anderson’s references are to other works of cinema, as detailed in this five-part video essay by Matt Zoller Seitz, which details Anderson’s particular influence by auteurs ranging from Orson Welles to Hal Ashby. However, certain films anchor their influence more directly than others. For instance, The Life Aquatic was greatly inspired by Federico Fellini’s post-Dolce Vita work, and The Darjeeling Limited is dedicated to celebrated Indian auteur Stayajit Ray. In the weeks since the Cannes premiere and commercial release of Anderson’s latest, Moonrise Kingdom, several critics have noted that only does the film seem to be directly influenced by a specific director, but one particular film by that director. Pierrot le Fou, Jean-Luc Godard’s colorful, whimsically anarchistic couple-on-the-run film from 1965 seems to bear a great deal of similarity to Moonrise Kingdom, which takes place the year that Godard’s film was originally released in France (Pierrot’s US release was delayed until 1969, where it stood curiously opposite Godard’s polemical late-60s work). Having read several reviews that cite Pierrot‘s influence on Moonrise, I reflected back on both films, and here are some of the […]

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Game of Thrones

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column that brings together the best entertainment-related stories, Monday through Friday. It spends the weekends thinking about you, awaiting the moment when you’ll be reunited on Monday night. That moment is right now… We begin tonight with a shot from Game of Thrones. Why? Because Game of Thrones is awesome. The other reason would be that Pajiba’s Brian Byrd has taken to analyzing the process that HBO will have to go through in Ending Game of Thrones. It’s a spoiler-free essay that talks about the logistical issues of bringing George R.R. Martin’s massive book series to the small screen. In a perfect world, the series would go on for about 10 seasons and span all of the books not yet written. As characters learn each week on GoT, intentions mean shit in the real world.

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In Wes Anderson‘s latest film, the incredibly charming Moonrise Kingdom, young lovers Suzy (Kara Hayward) and Sam (Jared Gilman) run away together into the woods of the fictional New Penzance Island – already a fool’s errand (and only fools fall in love), but one made even harder by Suzy’s insistence on bringing along a suitcase filled with stolen storybooks. While the sci-fi-tinged tales are not actually real, their beautiful covers (crafted by six different artists) sure look real, and they fit right into the decidedly Andersonian world of the film. Anderson originally wanted to include the books in an even bigger way than how they appear in the film – when young Kara reads aloud to Sam during their camp-outs, Anderson wanted the stories to actually come alive. The filmmaker said, “At one point in the process, when she’s reading these passages from these books, I’d thought about going into animation.” While that didn’t come to pass (and Anderson certainly knows from animation, based on his wonderful stop-motion Fantastic Mr. Fox), the director couldn’t let go of the idea, and decided to craft an animated short as a special treat for lovers of the film (as first reported by ComingSoon last week).

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Director Wes Anderon’s period dramedy, Moonrise Kingdom, is a unique departure from his previous collaboration with co-writer Roman Coppola. The Darjeeling Limited was about three characters who, at first, could not care less about one another, and often went about showing it in hilariously cruel ways. None of that meanness is present in Anderson and Coppola’s Moonrise Kingdom, a story about the innocence of young love. For certain characters, not all is as fun and sweet as the young leads’ love. Considering this is a Wes Anderson film there’s a sense of tragedy underlining the playful style and witty jokes. Moonrise Kingdom explores themes of disappointment and lost love, something all the older characters are facing, and something the two kids may one day face as well. However, these themes and ideas to Anderson and Coppola’s work are not as deliberate as some suspect. As Roman Coppola puts it, it all comes from a place of intuition.

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Wes Anderson

Oh, Wes Anderson. Some have already gotten to see his latest film, Moonrise Kingdom, and even more will see it as it opens wider this weekend. Without seeing his name on the title cards, it’s easy to spot as one of his projects. The auteur has developed a look and feel all his own – usually constructed by primary colors, detailed set design, Britpop, and Bill Murray. This Texan who often lives in France is idiosyncratic in his storytelling, but he’s also unafraid to put his personal demons onto the screen (in as twee a way as possible). From Bottle Rocket to Rushmore to Fantastic Mr. Fox, his work is usually ridiculously rich and infinitely quotable. So here is a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from the son of an advertiser and an archeologist.

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It only took legendary filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich over three decades to write another film about the ins and outs and ups and downs of the theater – and who can blame him after the massive bomb that was At Long Last Love – but Squirrels to the Nuts sounds just zippy enough to really make it. Bogdanovich has written the script for the new film and will also direct (a double duty he hasn’t pulled off since 1990′s Texasville), but it’s the film’s producers, Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach, who should really set the tone for the film. Variety reports that the “quirky indie comedy” centers on a “hooker-turned-Broadway-thesp and the recurring intersection between those two facets of her life.” There’s nothing like prostitution to really keep you on your toes. Rising star Brie Larson will play the hooker with a heart of gold tap shoes, which sounds like yet another role that will show off the actress’s knack for excelling at very different parts (it’s not everyone who can turn in solid performances in both Rampart and 21 Jump Street  in the same year). Owen Wilson will play a Broadway director who, despite being married to another Broadway star (not yet cast), pays Larson for her non-theatrical work before eventually helping her get away from hooking.

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Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward in Moonrise Kingdom

It’s the summer of 1965, and a storm is heading towards New Penzance Island. The small dot of land is home to a few permanent residences, but it’s also a seasonal destination for a troop of Khaki Scouts who camp amidst the lush green forests and golden fields. Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) awakes one morning to discover the troop’s least liked member, Sam (Jared Gilman), has gone missing. Elsewhere on the island the Bishop family realizes their daughter Suzy (Kara Hayward) has also disappeared. The two pre-teens fell for each other the year prior during a brief, chance meeting, and have now taken off on an adventure as young lovers are prone to do (in movies at least). Sam and Suzy soon have half the island searching for them, but being such a small, sparsely populated place that search party consists almost entirely of the Scout Master, the local constable, Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) and Suzy’s parents, Walt and Laura (Bill Murray, Frances McDormand). Wes Anderson‘s latest film splits its time between the kids on the run and their mostly adult pursuers, and in doing so it tells two sides of a story that offer equal amounts of humor, whimsy and heartbreak. It’s a return to form for the director and his first to follow-up on the promise of Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums as it highlights the wide-eyed possibilities of youth and the harsh reality of adulthood.

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