Wes Anderson‘s stop-motion terrarium-movie, loosely based on an old Roald Dahl story, is a fast-talking, zesty riot, in which the eponymouse George Clooney-voiced egomaniac hero jeopardizes his tabletop country’s animal denizens by stepping outside of his tamed middle-class life and succumbing to his essential fox-ness. Kids will be dazzled in an analogue kind of way – it’s made of handheld toys more convincingly than the sheeny Toy Story films – and parents will be struck be its grown-up comic timing and the fact that, unlike other films of its kind, Fantastic Mr. Fox is a film that remembers but does not mourn childhood, in all of its cobbled-together, dirt-digging, plan-hatching dizziness. With Meryl Streep.
A giddily unpredictable comedy that, among other things, harbors an Oscar-ready supporting performance by Bill Murray as an exhausted, self-destructive business. Wes Anderson‘s Rushmore, both the movie and the prep academy it’s named for, centers around the unforgettable Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman), a fifteen-year-old genius who can’t be bothered with schoolwork, but who instead devotes himself to a kingdom of extracurricular activity. Overly cultured and beneficently power mad, Max meets his first real challenge in the tenth grade: that of wooing the new kindergarten teacher (Olivia Williams). But there’s no describing how Rushmore does what it does; coscripted by Owen Wilson, the movie’s comedy is so subtle, organic, and eccentric that it could fly in under your radar. In fact, scene for scene, the story has the loopy, unreasonable feel of life zooming right by you. We’re never told how to judge any of the characters; however whimsical, they carry the same possibilities that real people do. (The smart kids aren’t smart all the way through; the bullies don’t stay bullies; and so on.) The performances, which are just as unsettling and original, are uniformly fine, but Murray, as the sad-sack ’Nam vet whose moneyed suburban hell makes him cannonball into his pool and float underwater for peace, is flat-out great.