Sunday, December 20, 2009

Review - Fantastic Mr. Fox


Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach's cool adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel Fantastic Mr. Fox may not have a whole lot of that maddeningly undefined thing we call “substance”, but it sure is an entertaining picture.

Mr. Fox, retired from chicken stealing for 2 years (12 fox years), is out for one last job, but it makes him public enemy #1 for three ruthless farmers, placing his family and neighbours all in danger. George Clooney is very good at voicing the fantastic Mr. Fox, his deadpan delivery often hilarious. The same deadpan is actually employed by much of the cast, and it's the perfect fit for the witty dialogue.

Anderson uses a very idiosyncratic visual style, quite appropriate for the natural choppiness of the stop-motion animation, and Alexander Desplat's music is a fun and quirky addition to this hip film.

Nominations in Score and Animated Feature seem likely. Some could argue that Fantastic Mr. Fox could even win the latter, and it could if the Academy is sick of handing the award to Pixar every year. But hey, it's not Pixar's fault that nobody makes better movies than they do, so I still say that category goes to Up.

*** out of ****

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