Wesley Wales Anderson (born May 1, 1969) is an American filmmaker. His films are known for their eccentricity and distinctive visual and narrative styles, and he is regarded by some critics as a modern-day example of the auteur. He made his feature directorial debut surf Bottle Rocket (1996), with Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson (who co-wrote this and Anderson’s next two films), and James Caan. While it failed at the box office, it garnered enough critical praise to help get the financing for his next film Rushmore (1998), with Jason Schwartzman (their first of several collaborations), Bill Murray (who’s been in all of his films since), Olivia Williams, Brian Cox, and Seymour Cassell. Anderson and Owen were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his next film The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), with Gene Hackman, Angelica Huston, Danny Glover, Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, and Owen Wilson.
Anderson’s fourth film was The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), with Murray, Owen, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, Michael Gambon, Jeff Goldblum, Huston, Bud Cort, and Seu Jorge. The film was a box office failure and received mixed to negative reviews upon release, but developed a cult following over time. It also marked his first collaboration with filmmaker Noah Baumbach. His next film The Darjeeling Limited (2007), with Owen, Adrian Brody, and Schwartzman (who also co-wrote the script, along with his cousin, Roman Coppola) faired much better critically and financially. He made his first stop motion animated film Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), with the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Schwartzman, Murray, Dafoe, Gambon, and Owen; it would be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Anderson’s next film was Moonrise Kingdom (2012), with Jared Gillman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Schwartzman, Bob Balaban, Harvey Keitel; it would also be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay (along with Roman Coppola). Next came The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), with Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Jude Law, Mathieu Amalric, Brody, Dafoe, Goldblum, Keitel, Murray, Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, and Owen. In addition to being nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, he received his first Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Picture, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and the BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay.
He made a second stop motion animated film, Isle of Dogs (2018), with the voices of Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Norton, Liev Schreiber, Murray, Balaban, Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson, Kunichi Nomura, Swinton, Ken Watanabe, Akira Ito, Greta Gerwig, Akira Takayama, McDormand, Abraham, Courtney B. Vance, Yojiro Noda, Fisher Stevens, Mari Natsuki, Nijiro Murakami, Yoko Ono, Keitel, and Frank Wood. It was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival, as well as being nominated at the 76th Golden Globe Awards, 72nd British Academy Film Awards, and two nominations at the 91st Academy Awards, for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Score.
Anderson’s most recent film is The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun (2021), with Benicio del Toro, Brody, Swinton, Léa Seydoux, McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Amalric, Steve Park, Murray,Owen Wilson, Schreiber, Norton, Dafoe, Saoirse Ronan, Schwartzman, Huston, Christoph Waltz, Balaban, and Henry Winkler. He also runs the production company American Empirical Pictures, which he founded in 1998. Three of his films—The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Grand Budapest Hotel—appeared in BBC’s 2016 poll of the greatest films since 2000.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- Bottle Rocket (1993) – short
- Bottle Rocket (1996)
- Rushmore (1998)
- The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
- The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
- The Squid and the Whale (2005) – directed by Noah Baumbach – producer
- American Express: My Life. My Card. – (2006) – short commercial
- Hotel Chevalier (2007) – short
- The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
- Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)*
- Moonrise Kingdom (2012)*
- Moonrise Kingdom: Animated Book Short (2012) – short
- Cousin Ben Troop Screening with Jason Schwartzman (2012) – short)
- Prada: Candy (2013) – short
- Castello Cavalcanti (2013) – short
- The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)*
- She’s Funny That Way (2015) – directed by Peter Bogdanovich – executive producer
- Come Together: A Fashion Picture in Motion (2016) – short
- Isle of Dogs (2018)*
- The French Dispatch (2021)