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2007-10-05 - 10:49 a.m.

I saw The Darjeeling Limited, with low expectations (bordering on cowering under my seat), and really enjoyed it.

I think this is a step forward for Wes Anderson from the lovely-looking but bloated Life Aquatic in that it's a smaller film but packs more of an emotional punch, and seems less hopelessly in love with its own characters.

If a filmmaker's characters are aspects of himself, and he is finally able to expose their flaws without requiring the audience to love them unconditionally, I think that filmmaker has evolved from charming narcissist to skilled story- and truth-teller. And the result is that I did actually feel affection for these hapless, somewhat clueless brothers (and their mom), who are trying really, really hard to have a spiritual awakening.

There are so many tiny but wonderful moments (mostly luggage- and eyeglasses-related, but factor in some camels, a little vest, and cigarettes, too) and they add up.

All the beautiful colors and art direction are in effect, and that Glass Family hot-house flower feeling is present, just not quite as fairy-tale-ish as in his previous films.

The casting is clever--Adrian Brody does truly resemble both Anjelica Huston and Jason Schwartzman....and Barbet Schroeder has a cameo.

So, for the record, my Wes Anderson score card:

Bottle Rocket: like it very much
Rushmore: in my Top Ten of all time
R. Tenenbaums: love it
Life Aquatic: like it
Darjeeling: like very much and admire it.

And in answer to my little poem from yesterday, I have found a band to blog most vociferously about, but I shall wait til tomorrow. I'll give you a hint, though, they are German and they were signed to Polydor in the early '70s.

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