lunedì 22 febbraio 2010

Fantastic Mr. Fox

 Having a soft spot for Wes Anderson, I was ready to love his new movie Fantastic Mr. Fox, but I wasn’t prepared to adore it.

Based upon a children novel by English writer Roald Dahl (the very first book that Anderson received as a gift when he was 7 years old), the movie has been made in a very sophisticated yet very sweet stop-motion animated technique. 

Mr. Fox, his wife Felicity and their son Ash live a decent life in a decent hole but Mr. Fox, who promised to his wife two years earlier to give up stealing poultry as a job, is dreaming big dreams and he decides (against his lawyer’s advise) to buy a new home inside a lovely tree.
Once settled down, Mr. Fox (now a journalist) is unable to resist to the temptation of stealing from his new neighbours, the awful farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean. Helped by his friend, the opossum Kylie, and by the sweet and smart Kristofferson (Mr. Fox’s nephew), they managed to steal many products from the three bad guys, but then they have to face their terrible revenge. To escape from it, Mr. Fox and his family dig a deep tunnel under the three farms, finding a bunch of other animals whose houses have been destroyed by the fury of Boggis, Bunce and Bean. After many adventures (more stealing, a flooding, a starvation problem, and various attacks), Mr. Fox and his friends will be able to outflank the enemies and be happy again (with great news coming along…).
I’ve always loved obsessive filmmakers.
Artists that, no matter how many movies their career is made of, will always talk about the same few things.
Let’s say no more than three themes per film, and Anderson is definitely one of them.
What he has created, film after film (6 in total), is a very personal world, parallel to the real one, where you can recognise the same characters, the same kind of situations, the same sense of humour, the same difficulties to face, the same happiness to look for. The fact that Anderson often uses the same actors to play in his movies just magnifies this sensation: Jason Schwartzman, the Wilson brothers, Bill Murray and Anjelica Huston, to name few of them, are part of the Anderson family. The filmmaker even writes his stories with the same people, especially with his friends Noah Baumbach and Owen Wilson.
In his cinema, the complexity of family's ties is central. As well as the difficulties of growing up. Very often, there is a character that feels at odd with the rest of humanity: usually a hyper-sensitive, hyper-intelligent, not very sporty, totally nerd, funny and romantic guy who is in trouble to find his place into his family and into the real world (my favourite one is still Max Fischer from Rushmore, but little Ash from Fantastic Mr. Fox is another good example of it).
In this last movie, it is incredible to see how much andersonian looks the world imagined by Dahl.
 And somehow, having animated puppets instead of human beings, gives to Anderson's world a deeper resonance, a lighter breath and a heightened sensibility. For sure, the "voices" chosen were pivotal in creating these great effects: George Clooney as Mr. Fox, Meryl Streep as Mrs. Fox, Jason Schwartzman as Ash, Willem Dafoe as Rat, Bill Murray as Badger... they're all more than perfect, but the little miracle here is the adorable Kristofferson's voice (courtesy of Wes Anderson's younger brother, Eric).
A last word about the music, that in Anderson's cinema always plays a very important role and it is amazingly used.
In Fantastic Mr. Fox, I was happily surprised by a song written and performed by Jarvis Cocker (now that I think about it, he is SO perfect for Anderson's universe!) but even more delighted to hear a couple of scores by Georges Delerue taken from two different Truffaut’s movies: Les Deux Anglaises et le Continent and La Nuit Américaine.
This last one is actually the same used by Zazie for her tribute to Truffaut in one of her first posts for this blog.
Well, Mr. Anderson, it looks like we have faith in the same God...

2 commenti:

  1. J'ai envoyé Ethel et Saul le voir aujourd'hui... Je te dirai s'ils ont aimé !

  2. Sophie, dis-moi après s'ils ont aimé!


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