Rafael Jovine’s review published on Letterboxd:
As I’ve mentioned on my previous reviews, Fantastic Mr. Fox was technically my first ever Wes Anderson movie I ever watched completely. It was for my birthday and my cousin invited me to her the boyfriend’s house for some movie watching after some bowling. The music and the animation on that one was great, and while I’ve already studied in an English-only school so my knowledge on my language was much advanced, I sadly still didn’t get to appreciate it for the simple fact I barely could understand it. With that in mind, I think its fair to call this my first ever proper Wes Anderson experience as I got to understand everything from beginning to end. Not only that, but as you can see by my rating, this is certainly my fave of his work so far.
While the depth and introspective dialogues and story are far gone for a much entertaining and endearing take on friendship, I believe there’s also a reason why this has been the only movie so far Wes himself has been nominated for the Oscars, as the film itself swept 4 Oscars on the technical level and for my money, they are all well deserved. I mean, while it hasn’t reached the same cultural status as The Royal Tenenbaums, every costume here is not only beautiful to look at but also elevates the cinematography with its color palettes. The makeup and hairstyle are nearly iconic, I mean, I am sure Fiennes has had a mustache in plenty of movies but none of them are as memorable as the one on this film. Also even when Willem Dafoe looks pretty much as himself, there’s something about his look here feels very special. The production design was a no-brainer, especially when you see the other nominees, the greatness of this movie heavily lies on this department from the little bus train (which I am blanking on the name), the hotel itself is a living character on its own, with even the most miniscule aspect being fantastic, you can see there was such a fantastic attention to details. And last but not least, the award wining score by Desplat its again so incredible, so minimalistic but it still adds so much flavour to the movie.
In terms of performances, both the old to the newcomers to the fantastic world of Anderson embrace its quirky nature to perfection. Ralph Fiennes in many ways seems to do what Leslie Nielsen did so brilliantly on Airplanes, where he was put into these weird situations while delivering some crazy and comedic lines, but he did all this with a straight face, which amidst the chaos surrounding him, it made every of his punchline hit harder and therefore coming as much comedic. In fact, come think of it, most of the cast are asked to do this and they deliver big time.
All in all, a whimsical story of friendship wrapped in a very good thriller that’s not afraid of shining away from violence. Its fun, its intriguing and it sees its director fully unleashing his creativity.