Wednesday, February 22, 2017

200 Items Or Less: The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)

A few thoughts: Wes Anderson makes some of the most visually lovely, charming and funny movies around. And while I could argue that The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, or The Grand Budapest Hotel are my favorites, that would probably be a lie, as this is the movie I find the most consistent enjoyment out of and touches me the most on an emotional level. Bill Murray is perfect in the lead role, a generally unpleasant man who takes everything for granted, but there's a charm and vulnerability to him that makes it impossible not to enjoy watching him. The sets are fun, the use of stop-motion animation is magical, and the entire rest of the cast do an excellent job at making you care about them and get invested in their adventures. There's a sweet melancholy to this movie that makes for a difficult struggle between seriousness and wackiness, but Anderson exploits that line to great effect. It may not appeal to everyone, but to the rest of us there's nothing else that compares.

Who would I recommend it to? Fans of Wes and his idiosyncratic visuals and humor. It's at times silly but equally as touching and makes for a well rounded semi-fantasy adventure.

My grade: A

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