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Top 5 Signs You're Watching A Wes Anderson Movie

VO: Matthew Wende WRITTEN BY: Laura Keating
Written by Laura Keating Wes Anderson's films are extremely unique, and these are just a few of his signatures! WatchMojo presents the Top 5 Signs You're Watching a Wes Anderson Movie! But what will take the top spot on our list? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Have an idea for our next video? Submit your suggestion here: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/

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Prepare to be charmed. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 5 Signs You Are Watching a Wes Anderson Movie.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the fastidious elements sure to be found in this auteur’s work.

#5: The Framing is Symmetrical

Framing is an important element in any film, adding necessary atmosphere to subtly draw the viewer into the world of the story. There are many techniques employed by many directors: closing in on characters to add an element of intimacy and urgency; full spectrum shots in a tight area to give the audience a sense of claustrophobia; one-point perspective, pulling the audience closer. Anderson's films are visual feasts, with each shot meticulously planned and designed from color-schemes (notably, striking combinations and pastels are put to good use) to alignment. The symmetry in each shot gives each movie a story-book quality, as though, with every scene, the audiences turns a new page.

#4: It's Really Violent, But In A Way That's Somehow Still Funny

One of the notable aspects of any Wes Anderson film is their humanist fairy-tale quality. But just like in any good fairy-tale, there is often something much darker lurking beneath the surface. Sometimes it is overt violence, like unhinged megalomaniacs shooting rounds; sometimes it is personal struggles, like attempted suicide; other times it can be the way our childhood illusions can be shattered when those we love are careless. However it manifests, this subtle darkness and violence ensures that despite their whimsical tone and radiant colors, no Anderson film could ever truly be called light-hearted.

#3: Convoluted but Captivating

The plot of most Wes Anderson films cannot be summed up adequately in a sentence or two. Even those films which, at first glance, have a seemingly simple premise, are soon revealed to be carefully constructed exercises in storytelling - the plot usually driven by the characters themselves. This is part of the appeal of Wes Anderson film - he crafts character-driven narratives, in which even seemingly random events are acted upon by our characters, rather than the reverse. As a result, though his plots get undeniably convoluted, they are no less engaging, ensuring that you remain engrossed throughout the film and walk away feeling satisfied.

#2: Nostalgia

Every Wes Anderson film is dripping in nostalgia - be it a historical setting, or the use of dated technology and fashion; they are love letters to the past. This highly nostalgic element helps to remove the audience from the immediate action in a way that is not too jarring, showing them a world that is familiar, but simultaneously surreal. This quality of unreality gives the director the ability to move around the world more freely with the viewers disbelief properly suspended. By loosening the grips of time, the films are given a timeless quality. Of course, the heart at the core of every film plays into another thematic element frequently present: the timelessness of love.

#1: Quirky Characters in Quirky Places

You can’t have an oddball and vaguely surreal film without oddball and vaguely surreal characters. Every character in a Wes Anderson film would be, in real life, probably one of the most interesting people you have ever met. Even the boring ones are 100% on-brand, 100% of the time. And when put into the hands of talented character actors giving serious deadpan delivery to odd behaviour, the whole thing comes alive. While there is never any literal magic in an Anderson film, grounded as they are in human hopes, struggles, fears, and joys, with their quirkiness, whimsy, and charm they are nonetheless enchanting.

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