7. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
Wes Anderson seems in many ways to me like a kindred spirit to Charlie Kaufman. Such an auteur, his films’ unmistakable style render them immediately distinguishable from works by anyone else. Even the recently released stop-motion animated film “Fantastic Mr. Fox” can sit side by side all of Wes Anderson’s other films and look like it is part of the same world. And this is a film with fox puppets! But if you think about it, the characters in Anderson’s films are always his puppets – part of a unique, visually inventive world that Anderson meticulously builds piece by piece. It is for this reason all of his films are eminently re-watchable and rewarding upon multiple viewings, and The Royal Tenenbaums does not disappoint in that regard. This film came out at the beginning of the decade and most definitely has already stood the test of time in my world. The characters in this film are so enjoyable to follow, especially because each has their own little quirky idiosyncrasies and a distinct visual style. It’s certainly not an accident that all of the members of the Tenenbaum family now annually serve as inspiration for Halloween costumes. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen this film, but if I’m channel surfing and I come upon Royal Tenenbaum and his clan of brooding geniuses, I immediately put the remote down and get lost in Anderson’s fantastic world. I can’t wait to get lost there again.
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