by Kris Katz
Brief spoiler-free entertainment reviews

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

Simply put, this is as appropriately named as a movie could possibly be. Films by Wes Anderson can be a hard sell to some people—his penchant for darkly deadpan delivery means that it can sometimes be too easy to take him seriously. Not so here, as the mix of whimsical stop motion, smartly written kid-friendly tale, and infectiously low-key characters create a sense of unexpected calm amidst the considerable chaos. This is not a film that goes for the big laughs and the big excitement, but rather nudges itself along with a sly wink and a charming giggle. It is at times both pedestrian and ironic, while simultaneously being impossible and straight-forward. This is a very smart film, fully capable of instilling wonder in adults and knowing smiles in children. There is not quite enough drive to push this excellent movie into classic territory, but in almost every way this is a beautiful, thoughtful, delightful ride for anyone who likes their entertainment with a touch of subtlety.

9 out of 10.

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