by Marshall Flores
When it is all said and done, 2012 will go down as one of those film years where there is simply too much greatness, too many achievements and accomplishments, for AMPAS to adequately recognize. The Best Picture race is already shaping to be quite a battle royale, crowded with both surefire contenders and potential game changers. As a result, it will very easy (perhaps inevitable) for voters to forget about “smaller” indie gems like Beasts of the Southern Wild and Moonrise Kingdom: great movies that would be part of the Best Picture conversation in a weaker year. As it stands, given their early release date, Beasts and Moonrise are instead on the bubble, their ultimate Oscar prospects uncertain. Still, the case should, nay, must be made for these films.
Since making his debut with Bottle Rocket in 1996, very few directors working today have displayed a persistent penchant for quirky as Wes Anderson. With a storybook aesthetic that includes meticulous mise-en-scene, vintage costuming, and a muted color palette reminiscent of a faded photo, Anderson has crafted intimate films – whimsical worlds populated with oddball characters confronted by heavy subjects: alienation, family dysfunction, mortality. It’s a filmmaking identity that defies comparison with just about anything else coming out of mainstream cinema.