No doubt Wes Anderson is one of the most influential and accomplished directors of our time. Over the years, his work has inspired many; of course, the director’s enviable creativity never ceases to amaze anyone who appreciates cinema. The filmmaker debuted his first film, Bottle Rocketin 1996 and since then actively amazes people with his distinctive art.

Whether one appreciates Anderson’s style or not, it’s an undeniable fact that the filmmaker has made a name for himself in the film industry, and it’s hardly difficult to recognize one of his films simply by its aesthetic. But what really makes Anderson’s work so characterful?

Updated on May 20, 2023, by Daniela Gama:

Wes Anderson was highly anticipated Asteroid City, which relies on an ensemble cast (as many of the filmmaker’s films do) and an interesting premise surrounding a Space Cadet convention held in a desert town, will hit theaters on June 16. Many of the signature elements of Anderson’s work can be seen in the film’s trailer, including the symmetry and faded color palette. But is it just the aesthetics that are in the director’s style?



10 Frequent collaborators

Bill Murray in Wes Anderson Movies
Image via 20th Century Studios and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Often relying on a talented cast filled with famous faces, Wes Anderson has no qualms about using the same actor multiple times. Bill Murray a frequent collaborator on the director’s artistic cast, having starred in nine of his films so far, incl Aquatic Life With Steve Zissou And French delivery just recently.

RELATED: Bill Murray’s Best Supporting Role, Ratings

Owen Wilson also a recurring face from early on in Anderson’s career; he landed his first role in the filmmaker’s directorial debut film Bottle Rocketafter co-writing it as well.

9 60’s and 70’s music

Vinyl Records in Wes Anderson Films
Image via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

His art is not only pleasing to the eye but also pleasing to the ear: regularly licensing the work of iconic musicians such as Rotating stone And Beach BoySYou can almost always count on Anderson to perform some legendary 60s and 70s folk-pop classics at some point in his films.

For example, the Beatlesthe iconic “Hey Jude” featured on Royal Tenenbaum as good Bob Dylanis “Wigwams”. This resulted in some of the most unforgettable scenes in his films.

8 Structure Like Chapters

Chapters in Wes Anderson Movies
Image via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Often dividing his films into chapters, Anderson likes to present stories to the audience as if they were reading a novel. These pauses have become a recognizable part of Wes Anderson’s style.

While dividing his films into distinct chapters doesn’t always have a deep, hidden meaning behind them (perhaps done for aesthetics), it ultimately becomes a characteristic in his work that reflects a bit of his own style and personality.

7 Dysfunctional Family

The Three Brothers at Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited
Image via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Dysfunctional families seem to be a recurring theme in the talented director’s filmography, which may be due to the fact that his parents divorced when he was only eight years old. Between these turbulent events, Anderson discovered his passion for storytelling and has since fascinated people with his extraordinary art, which often sheds light on family issues.

RELATED: The Best Movies About Dysfunctional Families

Looking back at his films, Royal Tenenbaum dive into the struggles of a dysfunctional family, and Darjeeling Limited centers around the story of three brothers who travel across India by train in an attempt to bond with each other. It seems parenting does play a role in Anderson’s films; from deceased parents to absent fathers, nearly every character is deeply affected by similar issues.

6 Deadly Humor

Owen Wilson in a Rocket Bottle
Image via Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group

While it may not appeal to everyone, Anderson’s quirky, lighthearted humor – which feels almost like himself – is also a big part of most of his films and can often only be properly appreciated when audiences are familiar with the character. features of the film and the situations they find themselves in.

Because they don’t often show much emotion and thus come across as somewhat flat because of how emotionally unreactive and distressed they are, Anderson’s characters often express themselves in limited ways, including through the use of dry humor (largely from the Wes Anderson film style).

5 Recurring Themes such as Love, Family, and Death

The Royal Tenenbaums cast
Image via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Family, among other themes, is a trademark that appears very frequently in Anderson’s films. As well as dysfunctional families, friends, love, and death often play a role in his films.

As a filmmaker passionate about exploring human connection, this quirky director loves to show the importance of bond in his films, for better or for worse. Forbidden love seems to be a very prominent topic, as well as the importance of personal space.

4 Slow motion

Slow Motion Represented in Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom
Image via the Focus Feature

Of course, slo-mo isn’t a Wes Anderson exclusive; there are many people who do it, incl Martin Scorsese And Quentin Tarantino. The thing is, every time Anderson does it, it works. As well as capturing the character’s fast motion, it also helps emphasize the scene.

RELATED: Movies Excessively Using Slow Motion, According To Reddit

The Rising Moon Kingdom, for example, showing a beautiful scene shot using the technique; it subtly highlights the importance of cinematic moments by slowing down time.

3 Unique Costume Design

Image via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, 20th Century Studios and Focus Features

It’s not just the symmetry, retro touches, and color palette that make Wes Anderson’s films. Costume design is also an undeniable part of Wes Anderson’s aesthetic. Anderson tends to dress his characters in out-of-the-ordinary clothing and accessories – certainly, given the director’s distinguishable style, it makes sense that the imaginary people who star in his films are also fashionable to be handicapped.

Imagine a world where the clothes a character wears have the same relevance to a movie script – that’s a Wes Anderson film. Ultimately, Anderson’s style of work is itself. And that’s what makes the films so original.

2 Color palette

The Color Palette in Wes Anderson Films
Source: Hungertv (image via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Anyone familiar with the work of this unique filmmaker knows that nearly every one of his films has a very specific and stylized color palette that is featured throughout the film. Always a man with an eye for detail, Wes selects his colors with meticulous care and often translates them into the costume and set designs – all of which match in the most satisfying and aesthetically pleasing way.

It’s also worth mentioning that color can be linked to emotion based on how you combine them, often helping to define and complement the setting of a film’s world, which also aids storytelling.

1 Symmetry

Examples of Symmetry in Wes Anderson Films
Image via Searchlight Pictures, 20th Century Studios, and Focus Features

Through his wide lens and gorgeous dollhouse-like set design, Anderson has always been the type of director who enjoys using symmetry when composing his shots. Whether it’s a person or object placed perfectly in the center of the frame, the result always looks beautiful.

This technique not only looks pleasing to the eye, but also gives the scene a sense of harmony and balance. Take, for example, the image above: If one were to fold a straight line in the middle of one of the four shots, the two sides would match perfectly.

NEXT: Every Wes Anderson Movie, Rated By IMDb

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