Lists are great. They inspire discussion, create arguments, and tend to spiral off into fun new lists. When you do a list about the “BEST” of anything it goes from being fun to becoming a hotbed for arguments. There’s no such thing as a definitive list but I’ve decided to pull from my rather extensive life of film watching and put it to good use.
This is not the “film critic’s top 100” list. There’s no guarantee Citizen Kane or The Bicycle Thief will be in the top echelon or even on the list. This is the 100 movies I would put my name on as my top 100. If I died tomorrow this would represent the 100 films I find most vital, special, or ones that bonded to whatever it is that makes me me. I’m not including documentaries, though that might make for a nice supplemental list.
The first 80 will be in no particular order. The last 20 will be in very particular order. One a day, you have my word.
#93 – Fantastic Mr. Fox
Why is it here:
This is one of the most charming and artfully made movies ever made. A celebration of creativity and a surprisingly perfect conduit of Wes Anderson’s skill for the masses. All of the quirk and retro magic of his work channeled through Roald Dahl’s classic family-friendly world. The marriage of old school technique and modern film aesthetic filled to the brim with great all-star voice talent is absolutely unmissable and a rare non-Pixar “animated” film that hits every note without one bit of salesmanship. This isn’t mindless family fodder but rather a classic film that just happens to be geared towards younger audiences.
Moments to savor:
When Ash spits on the floor. The digging sequence. “You wrote a bad song, Petey”. The rat sequence. The callbacks. The bumbling humans. Every frame and the TLC that went into it.
Ridiculously high. This is a movie that gets me out of my darkest moods, the look of it and the sheer creativity at play is impossible not to rejigger that love of movies that gets squashed by reality [and my own numerous close brushes with success in the business]. It’s therapy.
Apparently Anderson directed this remotely for the majority of the shoot. And it’s fine, because whatever the process was this was a distillation of everything that makes him a special filmmaker and it delivered it in a timeless way that makes for one perfect family friendly movie.