Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox ★★★★½

[82]

A few days late, but no matter - I can no longer imagine the “holiday season” commencing without this film. I’m starting to realize, too, how much of an anomaly this movie is, considering how wretched most Roald Dahl adaptations of the past three decades have been (and I say that as someone who fancied nearly all his books as a child):

• MATILDA: 💩 💩 
• JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH: 💩
• CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY? 💩 💩 💩 
• THE BFG: 💩 💩 

This was an amalgam of separate forces congealing in the most complementary way possible: Dahl’s playful imagination, Wes’s uncanny aesthetic, Baumbach’s wry sense of humor, and unexpectedly strong vocal performances from Clooney, Streep, and Schwartzman. If there were only one film that struck a perfect balance between appealing to both children and adults, it absolutely has to be this, right? 

Anyway, I still cry like a baby at least twice, especially now as a father with a two-year-old and another on the way (due March ‘21). I used to think this was about “settling down” from ones former free-spirited self into a dutiful role of the nuclear family and whatnot. But I understand now that “settling” is a poor word choice because it carries a pejorative connotation. Yeah, becoming a father has changed my perspective on almost everything; it has given me heaps of responsibilities, it has softened me in ways I never could’ve expected, and it occasionally means I can’t indulge in some of the risky pleasures a younger-me might have. But I wouldn’t change a single thing—none of that stuff compares to the way I feel when I see my son smile. 

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving to everyone; hopefully you are all finding ways to survive this merciless year. ❤️

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