• PG-13, 1 hr. 34 min.
  • Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Wes Anderson
    In Theaters:
    May 25, 2012 Limited
    On DVD:
    Oct 16, 2012
  • Focus Features

Critic Review - New York Observer

Like all Wes Anderson movies, it is na´ve, mannered, pretentious and incomprehensible.

May 31, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Observer | Comments (47)
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Comments

kargo

ivan kargovski

Like all Rex Reed reviews,it is vulgar,insulting,abase and delusional.

May 31 - 03:37 AM

CherryPop

Cherry Pop

You took the words right out of my mouth!

Jul 2 - 08:09 AM

John Spray

John Spray

Maybe Rex baby should take the dick out of his mouth!

Aug 4 - 07:19 PM

vailate

patrizia patrizia

beh, una voce fuori dal coro di elogi ci voleva..complimenti sig. Reed!

May 31 - 04:10 AM

xMrGrimmx

Jesse Hornick

What the hell are you talking about, praise? He gave a negative review!

Jun 18 - 06:33 PM

Seb M

Seb Moore

you ruined it rex reed u fucken idiot

May 31 - 05:38 AM

Saint Leonidas

Derek Duquette

Not sure if talking about film...or himself.

May 31 - 11:40 AM

Daniel Markovic

Daniel Markovic

this guys name is just ridiculous

May 31 - 01:23 PM

hoeech

Thomas H.

This is astonishing. I had no idea Rex Reed was still alive....

May 31 - 08:54 PM

Brad Cahill

Brad Cahill

Yeah, his plane to Aurora CO to see the Dark Knight Rises was delayed that day... too soon?

Aug 14 - 05:20 AM

Henry Sadowski

Henry Sadowski

Mannered, pretentious, and incomprehensible??? Kind of like you Rexy.

Jun 3 - 10:48 AM

Collin Craver

Collin Craver

agreed

Jun 30 - 09:27 PM

Robert Hornak

Robert Hornak

How can you be naive and pretentious at the same time?

Jun 3 - 11:44 AM

Marius Buertange

Marius Buertange

Often when critics don't like a movie, they believe it has to be because of some technical flaw, it can't just be that it simply doesn't appeal to their tastes. Thus, they feel obligated to throw in a lot of accusations that sound about right. This has been one of those times.

Jun 3 - 02:16 PM

Ryan Rhodes

Ryan Rhodes

You could make an argument that Wes Anderson's style is a bit na´ve in that there is a child-like simplicity to his camerawork, dialogue, and especially art design.

I know it isn't a character piece, but they seem a little shallow for my TASTE (that observation has nothing to do with their being na´ve, which obviously makes perfect sense to the story, however it is being told).

I know this is off subject, but critics talk a lot of his being influenced by J.D. Salinger. Well, I'm sorry, that is completely ridiculous when it comes to character. Holden Caulfield, as I think many would agree, is a person you feel you KNOW after reading Catcher in the Rye. That isn't just because of the deep personal details Salinger wrote for his character, but mostly because of his interactions, with other characters, that are as believable as they are easy to relate to. You don't get anything like that in a Wes Anderson film.

Anyway, saying he is pretentious is completely subjective, if that is supposed to be referring to his motivations for telling the story, and the overall tone of the film.

While it is my personal opinion that Anderson's style is 2D in a lot of ways (kind of like a pop-up book) I don't think that is necessarily a BAD thing. I also think his attention to detail is a little excessive, maybe obsessive, and he does a lot of things that if I were making a film would say are unnecessary. That's what makes the guy so original, though, and why I can't help but love his movies. He's witty, not really very charming, but all his own.

Jun 15 - 05:12 PM

Ryan Rhodes

Ryan Rhodes

You could make an argument that Wes Anderson's style is a bit na´ve in that there is a child-like simplicity to his camerawork, dialogue, and especially art design.

I know it isn't a character piece, but they seemed a little shallow for my TASTE (that observation has nothing to do with their being na´ve, which obviously makes perfect sense to the story, however it is being told).

I know this is off subject, but critics talk a lot of his being influenced by J.D. Salinger. Well, I'm sorry, that is completely ridiculous when it comes to character. Holden Caulfield, as I think many would agree, is a person you feel you KNOW after reading Catcher in the Rye. That isn't just because of the deep personal details Salinger wrote for his character, but mostly because of his interactions, with other characters, that are as believable as they are easy to relate to. You don't get anything like that in a Wes Anderson film.

Anyway, saying he is pretentious is completely subjective, if that is supposed to be referring to his motivations for telling the story, and the overall tone of the film.

While it is my personal opinion that Anderson's style is 2D in a lot of ways (kind of like a pop-up book) I don't think that is necessarily a BAD thing. I also think his attention to detail is a little excessive, maybe obsessive, and he does a lot of things that if I were making a film would say are unnecessary. That's what makes the guy so original, though, and why I can't help but love his movies. They are witty, not really very charming for most people, but all his own.

Jun 15 - 05:17 PM

Ryan Rhodes

Ryan Rhodes

You could make an argument that Wes Anderson's style is a bit na´ve in that there is a child-like simplicity to his camerawork, dialogue, and especially art design.

I know it isn't a character piece, but they seemed a little shallow for my TASTE (that observation has nothing to do with their being na´ve, which obviously makes perfect sense to the story, no matter what way it is told).

I know this is off subject, but critics talk a lot of his being influenced by J.D. Salinger. Well, I'm sorry, that is completely ridiculous when it comes to character. Holden Caulfield, as I think many would agree, is a person you feel you KNOW after reading Catcher in the Rye. That isn't just because of the deep personal details Salinger wrote for his character, but mostly because of his interactions, with other characters, that are as believable as they are easy to relate to. You don't get anything like that in a Wes Anderson film.

Anyway, saying he is pretentious is completely subjective, if that is supposed to be referring to his motivations for telling the story, and the overall tone of the film.

While it is my personal opinion that Anderson's style is 2D in a lot of ways (kind of like a pop-up book) I don't think that is necessarily a BAD thing. I also think his attention to detail is a little excessive, maybe obsessive, and he does a lot of things that if I were making a film would say are unnecessary. That's what makes the guy so original, though, and why I can't help but love his movies. They are witty, not really very charming for most people, but all his own.

Jun 15 - 05:22 PM

Brad Cahill

Brad Cahill

I think at the end of the day, some, if not most of us are IN on it, which is to say that Anderson's movies appeal to us in some way that many people do not understand. Maybe we don't even fully understand it ourselves. I think that you sir are just someone who is not IN, as is Rex Reed, so you or he will never fully appreciate the majesty of movies like this.

Aug 14 - 05:26 AM

Bob G.

Bob Gardinger

The popup book analogy is spot on. Moonrise is a great and beautiful adventure, but I don't really care about any of the characters. What I want underneath all that preciousness -- preciousness in the best possible meaning -- is something The Squid and the Whale came much closer to delivering.

Oct 9 - 02:02 AM

Ryan Rhodes

Ryan Rhodes

You could make an argument that Wes Anderson's style is a bit na´ve in that there is a "child-like simplicity" to his camerawork, dialogue, and especially art direction. I know it isn't a character piece, but to me they seemed a little two shallow.

I know this is off subject, but I'm sure you've heard critics compare his work to J.D. Salinger's. Well, I'm sorry, that is completely ridiculous when it comes to character. Holden Caulfield, as I think many would agree, is a person you feel you KNOW after reading the book. Not just because of the great personal details, but mostly because of his interactions with other characters that are as believable as they are easy to relate to. You don't get that in a Wes Anderson film.

Anyway, saying he is pretentious is completely subjective, if Reed is referring to his motivations in making this film, and the overall tone.

While it is my personal opinion that Anderson's style is 2D in a lot of ways (I've heard it compared to a pop-up book) I don't think that is necessarily a BAD thing. I also think his attention to detail is a little excessive, maybe obsessive, and he does a lot of things that if I were making a film would deem unnecessary. But that's what makes the guy so original, and why I can't help but love his movies. He's witty, not really very charming, but all his own.

Jun 15 - 10:39 AM

Dave Schock

Dave Schock

:)

Jun 23 - 04:50 PM

Dave Sandford

Dave Sandford

They just didn't get Myra Breckinridge did they Rex.

Jun 3 - 07:53 PM

Jared Allyn

Jared Allyn

I find the fact that you consider Anderson movies to be incomprehensible a tribute to the fact that you likely represent dulled and brainless masses.

Jun 4 - 02:30 AM

DKimmel

Daniel Kimmel

Not a fan of Rex Reed but he nails this one exactly. I guess even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Jun 4 - 11:25 PM

Zane B

Chum Chum

Who pissed in this grumpy old mans cheerios? Sounds like your throwing a tantrum lil Rexy

Jun 9 - 10:13 AM

Jeremy Anderson

Jeremy Anderson

The only "top critic" to give it a rotten. That is a pretty good sign.

Jun 11 - 06:58 AM

2001 - A Space Odyssey

Andrew Andrews

If Fantastic Mr. Fox is incomprehensible to you, you sound like a joyless suburbanite who goes to the movies solely to eat popcorn, because you don't want to drive over to the store and make it yourself.

Jun 11 - 06:05 PM

Danny Drummond

Danny Drummond

like you.

Jun 22 - 06:56 AM

Ross Gruetzemacher

Ross Gruetzemacher

If you think Anderson is pretentious yet you exalt arrogant Tarantino films, doesn't it seem like you're in the wrong business?

Jun 23 - 12:16 AM

Dave Schock

Dave Schock

wow--of 42 top critics this is the ONLY bad review!

Jun 23 - 04:49 PM

Facebook User

Facebook User

Holy good Hell!!!! Naive? I sincerely hope you're referring to the characters in his films that oft times display a naivet├ę and your comment is not directed at the director himself. But hey, we know that's exactly what you meant right-eeo!? I'm just fooling around with a little sarcasm for my own amusement. Anyway, if you want to sprinkle your opinion about how unsatisfied you are with Wes Anderson's films by all means lay it out. I'm not one for getting on peoples cases because they don't like or appreciate the same thing as myself. However, this being said, your "incomprehensible" statement sits a little sideways with me. I've got a buddy who would completely agree with you here but he rarely watches movies and quite frequently the meaning of even the most simplest of films can be lost on him. He's not lacking in the intelligence department or the artistic bent department he's just not that interested in film. He's a musician. You, however, watch and critique movies for a living. The fact that you can sit through the Life Aquatic or The Royal Tenenbaums and be confused about what it is talking about is near incomprehensible to me. Not to mention the fact that Anderson pays meticulous attention to his settings shot for shot so that some (or large chunks) of his film almost come off as art installations all by them selves; it's gorgeous to look at. I kinda get John Irving feel from his large cast of zany characters. Anyway, so, Rex Reed (if indeed that is your real name heh) I figured why don't I enlighten you a little bit so maybe you can understand what you've been missing. The Royal Tenenbaums was ultimately an unconventional love story that told good old generic Hollywood formula to go fuck itself. It was made all the more interesting because of it's great casting and excellent set pieces and rich and vibrant and oddball characters that strangely enough seemed more real than some 'trying to be real' characters in other films. I think for the most part because everybody's a nut in their own way and can bond with Anderson's weirdo vibe that spills out of Murray or Schwartzman or Brody or Paltrow or Hackman or Clooney or Goldbloom etc... I could carry on and give you the quick and dirty about Rushmore and Life Aquatic and the Fantastic Mr. Fox but I'm tired. For me, I absolutely love Wes Anderson's pace, set choices, story choices, cast selection, music and witty dialogue. For some reason zaniness of his films which seems to rub you the wrong way is gangbusters for me. Cheers.

Jun 24 - 05:27 PM

Matthew Percival

Matthew Percival

I mean....you can hate the movie, Rex, but you don't have to go and insult everyone who likes it. That just makes you into a dick.

Jun 25 - 09:22 PM

Grendl Jones

Grendl Jones

Wow, if someone expresses an opinion contrary to yours that makes them an idiot?

Reed expressed perfectly valid points, Anderson is a fourteen year old at heart and in mind. J.D. Salinger was an adult who realized through his alter ego his own narcissism and ridiculous need to be accepted in a world of idiots.

He both loved Caulfield and criticized him in "Catcher in the Rye" for his refusal to grow up. Anderson merely lauds his young lovers here, despite the hell they put their loved ones through, something young lovers have a tendency to do.

Thing is there is no growing up in this movie. If accepting Bruce Willis's offer to be a foster parent constitutes the hero's growing up, then it has to be established better that he has an aversion to authority.

Jun 29 - 02:49 PM

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