Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Will Wes Anderson Ever Get An Oscar?

I think few would debate that Wes Anderson is one of the greatest filmmakers directing today. And if you're willing to debate it, I'm game.

But despite his impressive filmography thus far, and his promising future, the question can't help but be begged - will Wes ever walk off stage clutching the golden bald man. And then the question that follows is - do we care? Not if it means losing the quark and humanism that is his signature. I would hate to see him compromise, make his characters a little bit less off, his subject matter more serious, his plots a little more appealing to the masses.

But yeah, I would like to see him get the coveted award. If not for directing, maybe writing.

So does Oscar catch up with Wes or does Wes change for Oscar?

It's hard to say that his movies haven't been clicking on all cylinders. Rushmore was nearly flawless. And I would argue that Royal Tennenbaums was even better. So what's missing? What needs to change? Does he need more history? More films under his belt? Or will he forever be seen as a brilliant director that is nothing more than a square peg trying to fit in the round hole.

And then if he does win an Oscar what will become of him? Will he be the same? It hasn't changed Soderbergh any. So many questions. Very few answers. The book has yet to be written for Anderson. And I'm waiting for the next chapter.


* (asterisk) said...

I agree totally that Rushmore was virtually flawless. I also liked Tenenbaums very much. For me, though, it was not as strong as Rushmore.

I think Wes has already changed, if Aquatic was anything to go by. And I hope he doesn't continue in this vein. The first thing he must do now is start making movies without Bill Murray. As great as he was in both Rushmore and Tenenbaums, he has become a one-performance joke, phoning in his performances as the same character ever since Rushmore.

It's time to break away and use some other actors. I'd like to see more Cassell, for example.

What do you think of the Anderson/Murray marriage? Is it time to say their goodbyes?

Burbanked said...

I think he will win an Oscar, but it'll be a few years down the road. He's a very, very good filmmaker with a unique style that has already helped shape film - a guy whose lesser efforts still get attention, if not widespread acclaim and box office.

He's a young guy, though, with only 6 or so films in the can, right? There's a lot of time and I don't see him going away any time soon.

I don't think that he'll "change" so much as I think that Hollywood tends to cycle around to awarding different kinds of movies. Little Miss Sunshine could very well win awards this year, and it certainly represents Oscar-caliber moviemaking on a completely different scale than, say, Titanic or Braveheart or The Last Emperor.

He'll grow, his movies will evolve and I do think he'll get awarded. But I also agree with *(asterisk) that I wouldn't mind Anderson doing a movie without Murray and seeing what else he can do.

PIPER said...


On the one hand while I like the ensemble idea that Wes is creating with Bill Murray and the Wilson brothers, I agree that it would be nice to see him break from that. I think he's proven that he can work with just about anyone. Gene Hackman, Danny Glover, Jeff Goldblume, etc.

While you and I disagree about the merits of Life Aquatic, I do believe it was his weakest movie. And I think that what he's guilty of is maybe taking his signature a bit too far. Being a little too subtle. Making his characters a bit too vain. Not enough human touch.

Gene Hackman is a pretty loathsome character in Tennenbaums, but he redeems himself as does Stiller at the end.

PIPER said...

I agree that it's early, and man do I hope that Little Miss Sunshine doesn't win. But that's a subject for another post.

It's funny Soderbergh won and was virtually untouched and unphased. I'm hoping for the same from Wes if he does win.

TALKING MOVIEzzz said...

As a big Wes Anderson fan, I don't know if I'm that worried about his Oscar chances. Scorsese never won (yet) and it hasn't hurt his career. Same with Altman. I'm sure Anderson would rather be compared to them than, say, Mel Gibson, on a filmmaking level.

And actually RUSHMORE is my least favorite of his films. Not that it is a bad film, but I just loved BOTTLE ROCKET, TENENBAUMS and even LIFE AQUATIC more.

garrett said...

How big of an impact do you think Owen Wilson has in the writing process? He co-wrote with Anderson the first 3, correct?

PIPER said...

Garrett, you are correct. I think maybe it has a lot to do with it. While I like Life Aquatic, in my opinion if I had to pick a weak one it would be that one. And I think it has more to do with the co-writer Noah Baumbach.

Moviezzz, you're absolutely right about it not really mattering. I think that the Oscars have been tainted for some time and the fact that James Cameron and Kevin Costner have one on their mantel for directing doesn't raise the bar on that award any for me.

To me, the Oscars represents all things LA. They think that by making Crash Best Picture, they're being socially conscious in awarding a really important film. And Crash is neither an important film nor a timely one since bad race relations in LA are nothing new. It's fake and it's out of touch.

cheepcheep said...

I'm glad you tipped me off about this post.

Personally, I think that the Oscars *do* celebrate great films and give awards to great films. But a very certain KIND of film. Quirky and brilliant movies usually slip in the screenplay award category, if anything. And in a way, maybe that's how it should be...I think Wes Anderson is a square peg that has absolutely no desire to fit in the round hole. Here's to a square hole for movies of the same quality and brilliance to fit into.

sammyray said...

His films simply do not become popular enough. Unfortunately MONEY determines most Oscar contenders.

brian said...

There are a handful of directors who I respect enough to see their movies, regardless of what's written in the press.

Those directors are Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson, Clint Eastwood and Wes Anderson.

Woody Allen, as prolific as he is, cannot be on this list for me. Particularly in the last 20 years.