Isle of Dogs is rated PG-13 for “thematic elements and violent images,” which seems a bit of a stretch. Most of Anderson’s movies are rated R, which seems unusual given his twee sensibility, until you start to catalog the foul language, frank sexuality and bursts of violence. The two animated films, however, are certainly appropriate for kids.
In early 2020, I counted down my top 20 films of the previous decade, and Wes Anderson’s 2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel showed up at #17. In that post, I mentioned that I owed Moonrise Kingdom another viewing, but hadn’t gotten around to it in time.
If I were redoing that list today, Moonrise Kingdom would definitely be on it, and pretty high up. But The Grand Budapest Hotel wouldn’t lose any ground. In fact, I’d likely move it higher as well. Subsequent viewings have only cemented it as one of Anderson’s most accomplished and enjoyable films.
#10 – Little Women (2019)
Alas, we have arrived at the much-anticipated Top Ten films of the 2010s. The top five titles have been cemented in place for awhile, but I’ve been all over the place with the rankings of numbers six through 10. I’ve changed a couple even as I’ve written these posts. But the order is unimportant; what matters is that these ten films spoke to me more than any others over the last decade.
Greta Gerwig’s Little Women is the most recent title on this list. I watched it for the first time on Christmas Day, less than a month ago. But to hell with recency bias, I was so touched and inspired by the film I knew right away it would find a place high on this list.
#17 – The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Wes Anderson, one of my favorite directors, released three movies in the last decade.
2012’s Moonrise Kingdom received plenty of acclaim but is the rare Anderson film that left me a little cold, at least after one viewing. I owe it a revisit. 2018’s Isle of Dogs is a beautiful, hilarious animated gem, one that fell just outside of this Top 20.
But 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel was the standout, and my favorite Anderson film since the exquisite The Royal Tenenbaums.
I sympathize with those naysayers. I can’t deny that his films have an insular, fussed-over quality that sets them a little too far away from what most of us consider real life. It’s tempting to be turned off by the certainty that he spent as much time worrying about the art direction and costumes as he did about the script and actors.