To finish off my trilogy of Wes Anderson posts, here is a look at some of my favourite characters from each film. They may be the lead character, or just one part of the ensemble casts, but they are all fantastic in their own right.
1. Richie Tenenbaum
The Baumer wins the stakes in iconic looking Wes Anderson characters in my book. That Fila Borg teamed with suit look is a classic. I think this has to be Luke Wilson’s best role. Richie is gloriously unhappy, but the scene on the roof with Mordecai is one of my favourites, and the scene in which Richie shaves off his beard and hair, and then promptly cuts his wrists to the sound of Elliott Smith’s Needle in the Hay is one of the best Anderson has shot.
Owen Wilson plays a blinder in Bottle Rocket, his movie debut. Dignan is a bundle of pent up enthusiasm and energy. He wants to be a bank robber, but he just isn’t cut out for it. He is misguided but generally likeable, so any plans he has end up going bad.
As much as I like nearly every critter in this stop motion romp, I have to eschew the obvious choice of Mr Fox himself, and go for this bad guy, played by Willem Defoe. Rat defends Bean’s Cider with his life and gives off some rodent menace in a spaghetti western manner. For me, he steals the show.
4. Steve Zissou
Ok, so the guy is unquestionably a totally unlikeable arse, but maybe it’s because he is played by Bill Murray with a typical deadpan face that I just can’t help but like Steve. He seems to have run out of enthusiasm for everything, including the moment he discovers Owen Wilson is his son. He makes me want a red beanie hat.
5. Francis Whitman
Much like Dignan, Francis is an accident waiting to happen. He runs a tight ship when it comes to the trip around India with his brothers in The Darjeeling Limited. Laminated itineraries and schedules. The fact he hasn’t got over his fathers death means the best scene for me is when he finally collapses in on himself, a spent force. He can no longer block it all form his mind. Plus, he makes a head full of bandages look some how cool!
6. Herman Blume
To be honest with you, I find Max Fisher to be arrogant and ultimately unlikeable, so I nominate Mr Bloom from Rushmore. This signals Bill Murray’s direction changing role into Indie movies, and he plays it with his usual dead pan brilliance. He has some brilliantly dry lines and some classic moments, like when he destroys Max’s bike to the sound of The Who, and his mid-party jump into a swimming pool. Brilliant!
7. Sam and Suzy
It’s a tie with these two. Brilliant debut performances from the youngsters Kara Hayward and Jared GIlman, who are both only 14! I love the innocence and sweetness of their performances, and Suzy won me over by liking Francois Hardy, whilst Sam’s dance to the song Les temps de L’amour made me laugh.
8. Jack Whitman and his Girlfriend
Played, briefly, by Natalie Portman in the short film Hotel Chevalier, which proceeds The Darjeeling Limited. She gets a mention because she looks absolutely stunning in a sixties mod French new wave kind of way! Jason Schwartzman gets the nod for his cool ‘tache!
- Hooray for Wes Anderson! (thomasjford.wordpress.com)
- My Wes Anderson Playlist (thomasjford.wordpress.com)