Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox ★★★★½

I promise you if I had all this to do over again, I’d have never let you down. It was always more fun when we did it together anyway.”

We all want our family to see us a certain way. Family, by function, involves inhabiting a role. Some want to be seen as breadwinners. Others want to be seen as iconoclasts. Others want to be seen as providers, as sources of calm amidst a turbulent or unpredictable life.

"Fantastic Mr. Fox" has enjoyed this reputation as a kind of gorgeous aesthetic object that crystallizes the point at which Wes Anderson began to move away from the cracked fairy-tale humanism of his earlier work and towards the more heightened stylistic register where he now resides… and yet, it is about all these things I just mentioned in a truly profound way: about the seemingly silly but ultimately very human need to preserve a semblance of grace within your familial dynamic, even in the face of unmanageable catastrophe. Domesticity provides certain undeniable earthly comforts, but for many - particularly parents - it can start to feel like a cage. 

I have never subscribed to the misguided notion that Wes Anderson stopped making great movies after "The Darjeeling Limited," but after many years without a rewatch, this floored me all over again. Adore the writing, voice work, the autumnal palate, the fact that parts of this feel like Wes’s version of a Western (Rat’s final scene, the Leone-ish twang of the score, the idea that Fox is sort of this retired bandit living for one last big showdown). Falling in love again with an old favorite after you haven’t seen it in years really is a wonderful feeling.

To our survival.

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