Yeah. It happened. Dahl/dahl night.
Fantastic Mr. Fox is such a unique movie, I’m glad I was prepared to be unprepared. As with most Wes Anderson films, the characters were charming, so tightly packed with a collection of normal behaviors they became fascinatingly bizarre.
From one moment to the next the little critters were reacting to the world in the story as the scope of that world kept changing to reveal the plot. The plot itself could have been simple and I think it would have been if the writers, Noah Baumbach and Wes Anderson, hadn’t tried to repeatedly sum up the movie before it was over.
I think there were about five moments when it felt as though the film was giving it’s final the-meaning-of-this-film-is speech only to continue on to another point. The wild wolf inside of us, the family man, the where is this crazy world going, the nature and nurture, the love and respect…you get the point. I’m just not sure they knew what theirs was.
Aside from that, I loved being in the world of Fantastic Mr. Fox. I very much enjoy being able to watch a film with a PG rating where the cuss word they use is the word “cuss.” It’s nice to take a break from live-action and especially with such an easy to watch film. And that, in my book, is very high praise. Often, animation tries to make up for the fact that it’s not live-action with overwhelming effects, voice work, and distracting convergences of editing and style.
But from the color palate to the prints and textures, this film is so neatly packaged with a consistent, mellow style it comfortably breathes a finessed maturity. I don’t know what demographic this film was intended for but I didn’t feel excluded. I appreciated the lack of jokes placed into the script just to please younger viewers and the the restraint of the writers not to add inappropriate laughs intended to go over their heads and hit the adults.
The art of the medium and the artful attention to detail won me over. It was random and unpredictable, witty, and peppered with unexpected laughs. It was even quotable, a quality I love in films. And the dahl wasn’t half bad either.
A mess of onions, yogurt, left over oven-fried eggplant, Tasty Bite lentils and peas, and a simmered chicken curry. Hearty, healthy and easy. This may become a tradition.