Variety: “Directors as Wild Cards”

Award season speculation from Variety (full story):

As has become the custom, there are still a few bad boys this awards season whose creations cannot be ignored, including the Coens (“A Serious Man”), Quentin Tarantino (“Inglourious Basterds”), Michael Haneke (“The White Ribbon”), Spike Jonze (“Where the Wild Things Are”) and Wes Anderson (“Fantastic Mr. Fox”). There’s also genre specialist Guy Ritchie, whose revisionist “Sherlock Holmes” is sure to raise a few eyebrows even as the director goes highbrow…

“The whole somewhat misbegotten notion of the auteur theory is that the director’s personality is itself an aspect of the movie,” says Christian Science Monitor critic Peter Rainer. “Most films from Hollywood, particularly these days, seem to be anonymously directed. And then you have Wes Anderson. Whatever one thinks of his movies, they definitely reveal the person behind the camera and a particular point of view — a way of seeing, a type of humor that is highly distinctive to him.”

“Wes Anderson sometimes seems to me the wise guy in your history class in high school,” adds author and Time magazine film critic Richard Schickel. “He’s articulate, he’s ambitious. And somehow most of his movies don’t seem to be quite up to his own expectations of them.”