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Quite a fun film, and in Wes Anderson's usual style... but just a shade below 'The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou' and 'The Darjeeling Express'. Partly because the scope of the film -- taking place on just one small island -- is nowhere near the same.
3 stars is enough. Maybe because I have enough with Wes Anderson, which doesn't mean I don't enjoy his movies or don't appreciate his style anymore, just that I'm kind of fed up with it, because it doesn't take you anywhere, it always goes around in circles, and it really doesn't tell you anything deeper about life or his point of view about life. It's just nice furniture and wallpaper. Nice to take a look to one time, but not so necesssary that you want to watch it again. Unfortunately, Wes Anderson world is a dolls house, and, apart from The Royal Tenenbaum, where story and characters still had an inner world and some living drama, here, as also in most of his last films, all you see it is just a mere and superficial repetition of that film schemes and patterns. You will have fun and sometimes smile, and I hope you'll enjoy the film should you want to buy it: but if you don't, maybe if could be a useful warning to Wes: "grow up or you will only remembered for your look, but not for your feel"
I think that 3 stars is about right for me on this movie. It was one of those rare and strange films where, on getting to the end of it, I honestly couldn't decide if I had enjoyed watching it or not! I have not seen a Wes Anderson film before so, without a doubt, I probably didn't understand it. I couldn't decide what it wanted to be. It seemed primarily to want to be a comedy and there were bits of it that made me laugh BUT also vast stretches of it that didn't. I soon realised that it was pointless expecting any explanations or answers or even any kind of motivation - its not that kind of movie. Its a series of loosely related scenes strung together, written and filmed and acted in a 'quirky' fashion. Within those limitations then, there are good performances from most of the child actors, especially the understated Kara Hayward, and also from Ed Norton and Bruce Willis. Tilda Swinton had an excellent and very amusing first scene as Social Services - her later appearance was a little more forced and less convincing.
The style of the movie is individual and fits the 'quirky' brief, likewise the camera work. The subject matter is interesting and often controversial. Personally I didn't find it 'sweet' or 'cute' but nor did I find it offensive - I think its a pretty valid take on young 'love' at that age. There are some violent acts here too but the overall surreal air to the film tends to mute these although I must admit that I didn't really understand the need to kill the dog - the one really unnecessary thing (to me) in the film. There doesn't seem to be much character development - arguably Sharp and Sam seen a little happier at the end of the film and Ward has a renewed confidence (and maybe a girlfriend). I'm not convinced things are really any better at Suzy's home but, again, I don't suppose character development is really the point of a film like this.
So, I didn't love it but I didn't hate it either. I doubt if I'll watch it again and I can't say that I'm in a hurry to watch other Wes Anderson films. Oh - it did have a very good soundtrack, especially all the Benjamin Britten - one thing I WILL do soon is listen to a recording of Noye's Fludde!
Film aussi sympathique que loufoque, proche des meilleures réalisations des frères Coën. Les personnages sont bien campés, le rythme soutenu : on ne s'ennuie pas un instant. A consommer sans arrière-pensée, ni hésitation.