Confronting Wes Anderson

Imagine you’re in a movie theater, filled with people. The film starts, and you notice some nice scenery, but the dialog seems stilted and nothing seems to be happening. There’s very little action, the characters are extremely two-dimensional, and there’s no discernible plot or meaning behind anything on the screen.

You sigh about your lost $12, and remind yourself that bad movies are nothing new. You expect people to start walking out – but instead, they are howling. Every few lines, another burst of laughter fills the theater, and it’s obvious that the audience is really enjoying themselves. As the credits roll, tears run down cheeks and comments like “that was great” and “wow, best movie of the year” fill the air. You look around for Alan Funt and some hidden cameras. How could these people have seen the same film?

I had this experience watching Wes Anderson’s latest film, Moonrise Kingdom. It’s a simple tale about two kids who run away to be with each other one very picturesque New England summer in the 1960’s. There was nothing for me to not like about this film – it took place where I grew up (I’ve even visited the Boy Scout camp where it was shot), it features some themes I’m interested in and the “instamatic” color scheme was intriguing. The only problem is the writer/director, Wes Anderson.

I’ve watched most Wes Anderson movies, and I’m dumbfounded as to why anyone enjoys his work. I find it amateurish, boring, and ultimately depressing. The Royal Tenenbaums ranks as one of my least favorite films ever. Fantastic Mr. Fox made no sense to me at all (and I love Roald Dahl), and while Darjeeling Limited had some promise, by the end I was completely lost.

And yet he continues to win awards and garner great reviews. Moonrise Kingdom has a score of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, the equivalent of “masterpiece.” People whose opinions I respect loved this movie. One of them said “Finally, they made a movie just for me.” Even my partner Jen thought Moonrise Kingdom was very enjoyable.

What the hell is wrong with everyone?

After seeing Moonrise Kingdom, I obsessively read interviews with Anderson about why he made the film. He said that he wanted to capture the intensity of falling in love as a twelve-year old. I read slack-jawed, as I hadn’t even realized they were in love. He talked about a crumbling marriage that just seemed “normal” to me, and interviewers praised him for his life-like dialogue that I found intentionally wooden.

I put on Anderson’s short film Hotel Chevalier, hoping for some insight. It’s thirteen minutes in a hotel room with two apparently ex-lovers. So far as I could tell, nothing happened.  A grilled cheese sandwich is ordered. A man refuses to shave off his cheesy mustache. Natalie Portman disrobed. I flipped back to a review I found, and read the summary: “a highly moving, beautifully nuanced, and hauntingly memorable portrait of lost love.”

“This is crap!” I yell internally. People must be liking his stuff only because they’re supposed to. It’s like patrons in a modern art gallery oohing and awing over some wood and wire not realizing that they’re actually looking at the mount for artwork that hasn’t arrived. (Oh wait, that was me. Another story, another time.)

And I’m not alone. These sentiments from the Cinephiliac reflect my own:

I just simply don’t understand the importance of Wes Anderson’s films. Anderson often tells the story of an upper class white family who has no real conflict in their lives except for the ones they create. Anderson constructs characters that viewers are supposed to care for, however, they are never developed enough to encourage true empathy from the audience.

And finally I realized what was wrong with everyone: not a damn thing.

It’s not that I just dislike Wes Anderson’s films. I dislike most Michael Bay movies, but I can see how people would like them. With Wes Anderson, I can’t even imagine what fans are experiencing. I’m for whatever reason incapable of appreciating them. My collection of experiences, my socializing, my brain chemistry – one or more of these things has rendered me “blind” to Wes Anderson’s artistry. I can enjoy films such as Gregory’s Girl, Eraserhead, and even this music video, but not Moonrise Kingdom.

The evidence (positive reviews, personal testimonials, awards, box office success) leaves me with this conclusion: Wes Anderson is a talented artist who is appreciated by smart and educated people. He doesn’t “suck.” His movies aren’t “trash.” And there’s a difference between not liking something and not understanding it. I don’t understand Wes Anderson enough to know if I like his work or not. And if I don’t understand something, I don’t feel entitled to render an opinion on it.

If you’re one of those who do appreciate these films, I envy you. You can have an emotional and moving experience during Moonrise Kingdom. And while you’re enraptured, I’ll be in the lobby staring at my empty popcorn box trying to figure out why the turtle had a name written on it.

About Jeff Wagg

Jeff Wagg is curator of the College of Curiosity (http://www.collegeofcuriosity.com). Always looking to expand his understanding, Jeff seeks out unusual things, places and people. He lives in Chicago.
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63 Responses to Confronting Wes Anderson

  1. Jairus Durnett says:

    I liked Moonrise Kingdom. I didn’t even realize it was a Wes Anderson film until I was talking to someone later about the movie.

    However, I completely understand your experience. I have the same kind of blindspot when it comes to music.

    I can hear it. I’m not tone deaf – I can discern the differences between the notes. I can be moved by the lyrics. But I am not moved by music itself. People have to tell me when a piece of music is “happy” or “sad”. I have learned that minor keys are mournful and major keys are inspiring, so I am not entirely lost, but musics does not inspire any emotion within me.

    • Jake says:

      Implying that he’s somehow fundamentally lacking simply because he doesn’t like superficial, dull and pretentious films? It’s funny, everyone who went to art school can see that Anderson is trying desperately hard to be indie and quirky, while everyone else thinks it’s somehow genius because they haven’t seen that sort of crap before (constantly for four years doing a BA).

  2. Craig Good says:

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy it. It’s only my second Anderson film, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I found the two leads to be very real, grounded characters, which anchored the silliness around them. I just think that’s what the adult world looked like to the kids. Having made movies with kids I was impressed at the performances he got from them.

    There’s a subtle humor to the staging and background action (the rocket at the scout camp being a good example, but also just the way Bob Balaban posed himself) that I find appealing. But I understand that’s not everybody’s cup of tea. Anderson is a somewhat polarizing director that way.

  3. Bob says:

    But M. Night Shamalalaladingdong. We can all agree that he is a totally useless hack, right?

  4. funkmon says:

    You were right in the first part.

  5. Dave says:

    Fantastic! I thought I was the only one who felt this way about Wes Anderson films. Thanks very much for this article.

  6. mgd says:

    One can hammer away on the reasons of the world… but what if the world is not like that?
    I have experienced many situations like “jeez am I the only one who think wtf!?” so I try to keep quiet.
    Mainly because I’ve learned that I have no idea of what is going on.

  7. Sarah says:

    This is my first time to read this blog, I found my self here by accident searching for stuff completely unrelated to Wes Anderson. Wes Anderson movies (generally, not all) strike a chord with me and are very touching. Ironically, your article also struck a chord and was touching. You’d make a great Wes Anderson character.

  8. Jairus Durnett says:

    Of course! Jeff Wagg is a Wes Anderson character. This explains so much…

  9. Austin Pratt says:

    I found’ Rushmore’ vicious, violent and egregiously unfunny. There were no sympathetic characters in spite of excellent casting. His sets are more interesting than his scripts. After 30 minutes of ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’, I ejected the disk. I will never watch another Anderson flick. Movies are about emotion and Anderson doesn’t get that. He can strain for genius without my support. Pretentious is the kindest adjective for his work. The only other work I can think of in the dumpster with Anderson is “Little Miss Sunshine”. Also mysteriously not funny. I walked on that one and I’m still baffled that people found it hilarious. The foregoing don’t just fail to elicit laughter, they bore me. That would be true even if I accepted the films as straight drama.

  10. Scott says:

    “I just simply don’t understand the importance of Wes Anderson’s films. Anderson often tells the story of an upper class white family who has no real conflict in their lives except for the ones they create.”

    This is exactly why I like all of him movies. I relate to this theme and it is very interesting to see characters on screen with a similar life occupation.

  11. Kate says:

    I love Wes Anderson’s films. I can’t wait to see this one.

  12. Nutshell: I love Wes Anderson Characters for the same reason that I love the robot/cyborg characters in movies who want to be human or think that they already are human. Sure, at the end of the day, they are NOT actually human, but the longing and promise of humanity is often so much more important to art than humanity itself. This is what Wes Anderson’s characters do. They hint at the hope and inspiration to be human. This is why they touch so many people so much more deeply than a human character can (sometimes).

  13. Shon says:

    I didn’t like Rushmore. I yawned through the Royal Tenenbaums. I skipped The Darjeeling Limited altogether and only made it through about half of “Mr. Fox” before switching to something that didn’t bug the shit out of me. I have never considered myself to be a fan of Wes Anderson. Yet…I have seen Moonrise Kingdom 7 times, taking anyone I can drag into a theater with me and attending the flick 3 times by myself. I plan to see it at least once more before it leaves the theaters here in San Diego. I experience the same rush each time I watch it. I cry at the end…every single time. I ordered the movie poster and 8-piece postcard set, had them framed and plan to hang them in my home. I have never done this before. I don’t have movie posters hanging anywhere in my home and have always found them tacky replacements for “real” art…until now. I have the soundtrack on regular rotation on my iPod and sometimes get a tear in my eye when certain songs come on. Moonrise Kingdom strikes me in a way that I cannot explain…and that’s the biggest reason why I love it so much. Go figure.

  14. housecat says:

    You were just spot on until the last bit were you took an unexpected and weird turn. It’s nothing wrong with us who don’t like wes anderson, it’s the other way around! His movies are pretentious, unsympathetic garbage, made by someone with low empathy and no real creativity.
    If you think wes anderson is crap, you’re likely to be more empathic than the general public. You’re likely to have a more free mind, less manipulated than the general public. It’s a sign of a healthy mind.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t know how you came to that conclusion, but I like it. I was wondering myself if Wes Anderson fans are on SSRI’s. No offense to anyone that is, but I think you have to be majorly depressed to get joy out of his movies. Though I could be wrong.

    • Armando Aballando says:

      Yes, @housecat – that’s exactly what I think!

  15. Bob says:

    I just saw Moonrise Kingdom tonight and was so enraged by the fact that anyone could claim to enjoy it that I had to google “Wes Anderson films suck” just so I could make sure I wasn’t the only sane person left in the world. I agree with every word of your article. The wankers who were laughing in it…I guarantee that on the way home they were saying to each other “Did you get it? I got it.”

    If I had have done my research beforehand and realised that it was the same person who made The Royal Tenenbaums they never would have gotten my money. I would rather see ten boring, exploitative Hollywood car chase & gun fight movies than sit through another of this talentless individual’s efforts.

  16. CL says:

    Googled “Wes Anderson not funny” after watching Moonrise Kingdom and found your article — thank you. I can see how people enjoy his movies’ characters and settings, but I think the humour is more of a quiet chuckle, not uproarious laughter. Definitely some wankery from wannabe critics who rave about Anderson’s comedic skill. The emperor has no clothes.

  17. JJ says:

    i decided to check out your blog after listening to the podcast this last month and found this. I’m overjoyed by your take. I did like Rushmore very much, but it was enjoyable after the first viewing. Nothing else from Wes was as good. Something Moonrise Kingdom held promise. But, I couldn’t enjoy it. I rarely make it halfway through a movie and turn it off, but I did this time. The whole movie felt like a series of paintings with occasional movement and dialog to distinguish itself as a moving picture. I have enjoyed movies with less dialog and periods of seemingly stifled movement, but it was always justified by the movie’s theme. I’ve never witnessed two kids talk so little amongst themselves. Especially, when they think they’re alone and love is budding.Anyway, it was extremely boring and tedious for me. I also lack whatever it takes to enjoy Wes Anderson movies.

  18. BW says:

    Came here by googling “wes anderson not funny”

  19. Anonymous says:

    its such a relief to find this blog, I too have never been able to understand why wes anderson is a rich and famous director. His films are totally, utterly and completely fucking boring, pretentious and they rely on themselves too much. Its like humour but with the humour removed…you know what i mean?his films could be really good but he seems to drain everything out of them, character, emotions, colour..

  20. The Haaksinator says:

    Thank you for this post, I already thought I was the only movie fan bored to death by Wes Anderson´s work. I had to see all his movies as literally all my friends are totally fond of his films but so far I didnt see one movie that I would seriously recommend to anyone. After every Wes Anderson movie I promise to myself not to watch another, but peer pressure eventually forces me to do so. And after each movie I´m always surprised how people don´t realise that Anderson continously repeats pointless, emotionless, pretentious stories about Caucasian middle class luxury problems wrapped in nostalgia looks. “Moonrise Kingdom” is no better, I mean if you want to see greatly casted, well told, stylish coming of age movies, watch Swedish “En Kärleks Historia”, “This Is England”, “Breakfast Club” or “Christiane F” just to name a few.

  21. Anonymous says:

    googled WES ANDERSON SUCKS. Got here. Very on point. I’ve only watched his films by accident – fortunately only on Netflix – so only time lost, not really money. Unless there is some way to get a credit for watching a lame ass Wes Anderson Film.

  22. KidPsych says:

    I work with children with autism. In listening to Wes Anderson talk in interviews and in watching his films, I can’t help but think he is somewhere on the spectrum. I could understand making one or two films without empathy or emotion, but a whole slew of them? Odd. The only one that flirts with emotional life is Bottlerocket, and I imagine that’s because Jim Brooks didn’t allow Anderson to make something with no emotional resonance.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ha, maybe. I too found this site, and ONLY THIS site by googling “Wes Anderson overrated” and why do people like “Wes Anderson”. From a psychological standpoint, I was wondering myself if his fans are really depressive.

    • bc says:

      Just googled “I hate Wes Anderson” and got here.

      The autism idea is really interesting.

      What are these films but obsessive pieces of dollhouse perfectionism? The constant absorption with tiny, useless set details. The long tracking shots, meticulously set up, like watching a clock mechanism spring forth a cuckoo bird. Sounds pretty autistic to me.

      I’ll watch a film that looks like shit if the character’s hook me. Conversely, I guess there are plenty of people who adore watching pedantic automatron movies with monotonous dialogue and dead-eyed characters just because they like spotting the weird stop-motion fish or carefully positioned tea sets in the background.

      That is not enough for me, but I’m definitely in the minority.

  23. Wes Anderson says:

    Wes Andersons films fucking suck. Only hipsters and old people watch and enjoy his fucking retarded film. FUCK YOU WES ANDERSON AND FUCK YOUR GOD AWFUL MOVIES!!

  24. Luke kenney says:

    I agree about Moonrise Kingdom. As one of Wes Anderson’s biggest fans I cannot say that I wasn’t disappointed with moonrise kingdom but all of his other movies are simply fantastic

    • Sabina says:

      Hi Luke. So you’re a Wes Anderson fan but didn’t like Moonrise Kingdom? Why is that? What are you expecting from the upcoming Grand Budapest Hotel? Please check out the website I work for (moviepilot.com) and let me know if you’re interested in posting your reply on the platform (we have an audience of 12 million fans). Drop me an email if you have any questions: sabina@moviepilot.com

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  25. Cander says:

    Wes Anderson’s film’s are terrible. You’re not crazy.

  26. Markus says:

    No, it’s not that you are unable to appreciate them. It is that they suck. Hipster idiots who think things that are not funny are funny, or things that are not at all thought provoking are thought provoking, are ruining what it means to have taste. I have watched almost all of Wes Anderson’s work and by and large the only ones I know who rate him highly are the same people that think Tim and Eric are funny and that they are more intellectual than they really are.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Life is too short to waste time w/ Wes Anderson films. They are like the turds I leave behind in a toilet!. Hipsters like them because they’ve been told that they DO like them.

  28. Nick says:

    Well I finally saw “Moonrise Kingdom” as it was free on HBO. it was the 8pm premier so I was ready! First I’d like to just wonder when did Bill Murray choose to only do quirky small movies?
    He did “Get Low” and he did “Broken Flowers” both of which I was waiting for the supposed laughs. I dont get it.

    Anyway,there was a scene in “True Romance” where the main character is complaining about movies. He points out film snobbery and what is and is not an actual film in his opinion.
    And Christian Slater was correct.

    These films,some of them aren’t even movies. “Moonrise Kingdom” is not a movie at all. It’s just some bland,boring collection of meaningless,insignificant words. Most of Wes Anderson’s attempts are not even movies. Nothing happens in them and they don’t entertain. He’s your stereotypical art house douche. Like if Fox News were to do their version of left wing film snobs it would be all Wes Anderson. Some bland artsy dick who thinks he’s “deep.”

    But he’s gonna keep making the same movie because critics are afraid to say what they feel. No one wants to be the guy saying “all of you are crazy,Wes Anderson is terrible.”

    “Django Unchained” is a movie. “Moonrise Kingdom” is not.

  29. omdata says:

    Like many others, came here to make sure I wasn’t the only one. Cannot stand Wes Anderson. I dislike most Coen Bros. films for a lot of the same reasons.

  30. Charlie says:

    Leave the cave you call home and live goddamnit!

  31. Carlton says:

    This is too much plebian for one comment chain.

  32. Dodger says:

    I’m in a special boat. I not only hate Wes Anderson films, I also hate Quentin Tarantino films. And yes I also hate Michael Bay films so don’t think I’m one of those dolts who only likes explosion movies.

  33. Jackson says:

    Yes! Thank you!

  34. Donatello says:

    You can’t see how anyone enjoys his movies; I could ask the same question about any director. His style definitely isn’t for most people, but I enjoy his eye for color contrast and sarcastically intellectual dialogue.

  35. whew…I am not alone..

  36. gsgd says:

    Wes Anderson movies are really just Adam Sandler movies with cool music. Hipsters can’t figure this out. If they did they might jump off a bridge out of embarrassment.

  37. Senor Sock says:

    I like the end of your critique, nice save, but will it satisfy anyone?. Anderson’s movies are so heavily stylized, so overburdened with 70s nostalgia that we rightly look around for some depth, something besides the visual appeal. But it’s usually not there, and when it is, it’s obscured by this smirking, ironic distance. Anderson uses nostalgic kitsch the way blockbuster action movies use special effects. Both may deliver empty experiences, but the spectacle entertains us…some of us, maybe. To excuse the atmosphere of meaninglessness in his movies by calling them ironic or postmodern is not enough. Style over substance? There, that’s easy. And please, Wes, stop mining the hip music catalog to service your abrupt slow motion scenes. Now I can’t listen to Donovan or Nico without thinking of you. Moonrise Kingdom blew people’s minds because in addition to the stylistic signatures, it actually focused on a love story, even if it was passionless. But at least he’s creating something, and doing it with some sensitivity, and his sets have a visionary quality.

  38. mercycroft says:

    Why did you apologize? You were right on in the first half. I love cult film and quirk and Anderson is a fake. Everyone I know who likes his movies not only has no sense of humor, but I find to be completely annoying. Even hipsters are cooler than people who like Wes Anderson films – who are people in desperate search of a coolness they will never find because they’re trying soooo hard.

  39. I love Rushmore and Moonrise Kingdom. I haven’t made it all the way through the Royal Tennenbaum’s yet. Keep falling asleep. Those are the only 3 I have seen.

  40. S-j says:

    Just not funny all the films make me cringe

  41. Ally says:

    Got here by googling “Wes Anderson pointless”.

    It’s disappointing because his plots always have great promise, but then just dissipate into moody, distant, non-committal nothing.

    Admittedly, people watch movies (or read fiction) for different things. I look for plot as an essential ‘skeleton’ to the story, and everything else to flesh it out, starting with characters, then actors, etc. Others look to movies for visual elements (and novels for descriptive passages) — those people are probably still keen Wes Anderson fans (also those with well-tended Pinterest accounts and a home-decor obsession). I still think Rushmore has amazing verve (though sputtering into insignificance towards the end); everything else I find all style, no substance.

    Beyond this and viewer/reader preferences, there is also ultimately an aggressively, obliviously self-centered quality to Anderson’s characters that I find off-putting (Tenenbaums being the worst in this regard). Everyone’s just off pursuing their own petty preoccupations and bouncing off each other like a bunch of wound-up figurines, with a few servant figures in every film bowing down before the main characters’ whims. Pointless.

  42. Base says:

    Very well written (and balanced) article. I feel exactly the same. I think we should form some sort of society or support group!

  43. neddyflanders says:

    I thought I was the only one that felt the same way as the writer of this article.

  44. hazimwood says:

    I also found this site by googling “Wes Anderson Sucks.” I don’t give a fuck usually about who directs what, I’ll watch most anything I think may be interesting. I love terrentino, but jackie brown was terrible. I learned wes andersons name because of my wife and our friends. We are all mixed spanish-americans ( I hate the word latino). So my wife had me watch the one with the submarine. I was like: wtf is wrong with this movie! Is there even a story here or just quirky bullshit in lieu of one. Ok so I just thought it was shitty. I watched the Mr.Fox movie with her and my son and it was an excellent family movie..he should stick to non-human characters. I thought it would make a good cartoon series in fact. I watched the darjeeling express and wondered why the twerpiest guy was the love docter? I was also bored with it. The characters and the story all seemed overwhelmingly flat. I was angry. That was a while back. Over the years at parties I get reminded of his name and then I put the pieces together and realize that people are talking about how great the director was. I am also baffled because these are intelligent and artistic people whose opinions I respect. BUT, those two experiences were shitty in huge way. He hasn’t pissed me off as much as the movie Sucker Punch did(That ENTIRE PRODUCTION CREW should be punished). But I know Wes Anderson’s name now and it will serve as a warning to me from now on.

    • Neville Ross says:

      Hey, I loved Sucker Punch, and though that it was the best of 2011 (I also loved Man Of Steel as well [made by the Sucker Punch crew also].) I’ll defend it against anything Wes Anderson’s done, and also say that people are too critical of movies these days.

  45. Anderson’s movies are self-aware and are always letting me know I’m watching a movie, not in a good way, but rather, in a smug way. I hate that. 2 minutes into any of his films and I want to crawl out of my skin. And just as bad is the dialogue which seems to be intentionally generic and lines could be exchanged between any character with no impact on the movie. His movies are the tv equivalent of Friends.

  46. Jaksa Jukonen says:

    Wes Anderson are just terrible and utter garbage!! I consider myself as an educated and intelligent man, since I did graduate on top of my class from Harvard medical school and currently enrolled in the neuroscience program at Cambridge. First time I saw an Wes Anderson movie was The Darjeeling Limited, due my roommate praising it, this was also the last time I ever trusted his opinion on any movies since the movie was absolutely terrible and I was mad I actually had just wasted 90 minutes of my life. Since then I have was forced to watch Moonrise Kingdom, almost literally forced, and why? Because the airline I flew only showed a movie on those small screens, so pretty much forced, this made me furious and I really wanted to jump out of the plane. So I watched it and was yet convinced that he´s awful, just terrible and if it truly was meant to capture two 12-year olds in love then I want to know why is that? Why do we need to how it feels like to be in love when you are 12- years old, that just seems retarded and stupid. It makes no sense and who cares how it feels like to in love when you are 12- years old, I experienced it and it was nothing special, but to make a movie about it is a huge waste of money and just really stupid. Maybe if he would get punched really hard just one time or bunch of times, he might think twice before he´ll write any of his usual shit but probably not since I have a feeling his actually really stupid, like just plain dumb!!

  47. Γιώργος says:

    I don’t believe there is art for smart people.
    Art is for all people and everyone can understand genuine feelings.
    Wes Anderson films are imitating the aristocratic kind of art(like many operas and pieces of classical music), which is just a black hole in art, made by rich people bored of their lives and seeking pleasure without feeling, to fill their emptiness. All this art that makes you think you are supposed to love it but it’s your fault that you can’t, is most of the times(if not all) nothing but a fake, that is imposed on you.
    Also big money is behind all this. He always gets the best actors and always critics praise him. Isn’t that suspicious?
    I would advice anyone to stay away from him. Anything that’s true just gets inside your soul, not like this fucking scum, glittering like gold.
    PS: I googled the same thing! I’m glad there are people still honest to themselves that stand against the opinion-forming beast.

  48. Jack Tors says:

    I agree with this article and the tone of critical comments. I thought the Life Aquatic was kind of fun, but moreso due to Bill Murray than the movie. I recently sat through the Grand Budapest Hotel, and was shocked at how bored I was. I am a very open minded person, I love progressive, unique, quirky and different. But sitting through this movie went way beyond just not liking it… as someone above said the movie just made me want to crawl out of my skin. I was not the least bit interested or empathetic of the characters. They were neither likable nor interesting. The story was child like and went nowhere. (as someone also said above..like an episode of Friends) For me his movies are about as engaging as my last root canal. I don’t get the praise. One of those things that will always confound me.

  49. L.Carrel says:

    I love Wes Anderson films, but I can see why some don’t like them. They are precious, twee, overly stylized and extremely idiosyncratic. But your credibility as a movie critic flies out the window when you say you didn’t realize the two main characters are in love. It’s the entire plot of the movie and very clearly mentioned several times. It’s the reason they run away. It’s the reason all the boy scouts who hate the boy decide to help him in the end, because they realize his love is pure and sincere. It’s the reason the adults at the end of the movie agree to let the boy stay on the island. As for the calling that crumbling marriage normal, Bill Murray is suicidal and Frances Dormand is having an affair with Bruce Willis. I don’t even want to guess what your relationships are like if you consider that normal, but the fact that you can’t grasp these explicit, blatant, plot points that are devoid of nuance pretty much says you don’t pay attention to the movies you watch.

    • Jeff Wagg says:

      L.Carrel, in case you missed it, the entire point of the blog was to state that there is nothing wrong with Wes Anderson, it’s that I don’t get it. Those things you saw as blatant I didn’t see at all. I don’t have that problem with other filmmakers, but as so many do see them as blatant, I can only conclude that the error is with me.

  50. Brian Lutz says:

    Jeff, I’m glad I’m not the only person who feels the same as you. Whenever I try and watch a Wes Anderson film I literally have zero idea WTF is going on. I liken the experience of watching his movies to staring at a blank wall for two hours. I am utterly incapable of comprehending/relating to his thought process. He may as well be speaking a foreign language …

  51. Richard says:

    I’ve watched (or started watching and fallen asleep in) numerous Wes Anderson movies. I can (or at least I *think* I can) appreciate a degree of artistry/craft behind the films. At an intellectual level, I understand them. But they don’t resonate with me — I simply do not enjoy them.

    But I certainly don’t consider this a personal shortcoming. ;7)

  52. Luke says:

    I got here by googling “What the hell is Moonrise Kingdom about?” Thankfully I’m not the only one. That movie about the hotel that came out recently too…what’s this guy’s deal? I sit there the whole time asking myself what’s going on right now?

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