wild thing

Since I almost never get to the movies, and tend to wait and watch tv a season at a time, the dvd is usually my first exposure to whatever’s hip or hot or successful.

So I’m six months behind the times.

I kinda regret that in the case of Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, which I watched for the first time last night. Here’s why: this is a movie I will want to see every few months from now until I stop watching or listening or reading.

It’s that good, though I’m hard pressed to say exactly what makes it so. A try: George Clooney’s voice, combined with the expressions the animators got from ‘Mr. Fox,’ is deeply human. In fact, Clooney’s voice, along with Meryl Streep’s (the voice of Mrs. Fox) is the heart of the movie – it’s the sound of adults making their way in the world, with affection and respect.

The other thing: little moments of silence, of holding a reaction shot for an extra second or so, so that the viewer can breathe. Whether this is really true or not I don’t know; I do know that the movie made me feel  refreshed, not assaulted.

The rest of it is wonderful as well, the story, the animation, the characters, the use of very recognizable rock music (Street Fighting Man as the animals and humans wage war) and over and over again, a gentle but insistent realism – yes, this is how boys age 11 act,  yes, this is what a good wife says to a husband who has let her down yet again.

And one last thing: I neither wanted the movie to keep going nor thought it was 20 minutes too long. When was the last time you saw something that navigated perfectly between those two poles?


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