If You Know It's a Wes Anderson Film, You'll Know... Eight Trademarks of the Talented Director

If You Know It's a Wes Anderson Film, You'll Know... Eight Trademarks of the Talented Director ...

Wes Anderson is one of the most influential and accomplished directors of our time, and his output has influenced many; surely, the director's enviable creativity never ceases to amaze anyone who loves cinema. In 1996, he unveiled his first motion picture, Bottle Rocket, and has continued to amaze people with his distinctive art ever since.

Regardless of whether or not one appreciates Anderson's style, it is an undisputed fact that he has established himself in the film industry. It is not difficult to distinguish one of his films by its aesthetics alone. But what is it that makes his work so distinctive?


Anderson has always been a filmmaker who enjoys using symmetry when composing a shot, due to their wide lens and stunning dollhouse-like set design. Whether it is people or objects perfectly placed in the middle of the shot, the outcome always turns out to be nothing short of stunning.

This technique not only looks attractive to the eye, but it also provides a sense of harmony and balance to the scene. In the following image, let's take a look at how both sides would match.

Frequent Collaborators

Wes Anderson avoids resorting to the same actors over and over in his films, often relying on a talented cast of well-known actors. Bill Murray has starred in nine of his films so far, including The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou and The French Dispatch the most recently.

From the very start of Anderson's career, Owen Wilson has been a regular sight; he had his first role in the filmmaker's directorial debut film Bottle Rocket, having also co-written it.

Color Palette

Anyone who knows Wes's quirky films will recognize that his color palette has a very specific and stylized quality that continues throughout the whole film. He chooses his colors with great care and often sticks to them through costume and set design in the most pleasing and pleasing way.

It's also worth mentioning that colors can be linked to feelings depending on how you mix them, often assisting in the film's world setting, as well as in the narrative.

Slow Motion

Slo-mo isn't an exclusive Wes Anderson technique; a lot of people do it, including Martin Scorsese and Tarantino. The thing is, each time Anderson does it, it just works. It helps highlight the scene.

Moonrise Kingdom, for example, has a beautifully shot scene that resorted to the technique; it subtly highlights the significance of a cinematic moment by slowing down time.

'60s and '70s Music

Anderson is a great artist both to the eye and to the ears: by regularly licensing the music of well-known musicians such as The Rolling Stones and The Beach Boys, you can almost always count on him to include some of the greatest folk-pop classics from the 1960s and 1970s in his films.

The Royal Tenenbaums'iconic Hey Jude is featured alongside Bob Dylan's "Wigwam" for example.

Chapter-like Structure

Anderson is fond of presenting the story to the audience as if they were reading a novel.

Although splitting his films into different parts does not necessarily have a profound and hidden significance (possibly for the sake of aesthetics), it ultimately is a characteristic feature in his work that reflects a bit of his own personality.

Dysfunctional Families

The talented filmmaker's fascination with dysfunctional families may be a recurring theme in his filmography, which may be due to his parents' divorce when he was just eight years old. During these difficult times, Anderson discovered his love for storytelling and has been continually amazed by his incredible art, which often illuminates family issues.

The Royal Tenenbaums is a look back at a tense family, while The Darjeeling Limited is a look back at a tale of three brothers who travel across India by train in an effort to connect with one another. In Andersons films, almost every character has been greatly affected by similar issues.

Quirky Costume Design

Wes Anderson's films are distinguished by symmetry, retro touches, and color palettes. The filmmaker's signature is undoubtedly unusual. Considering the director's distinct style, it only makes sense that the characters who appear in his films are also fashionable due to a flaw.

Imagine a world in which the clothes a character wears has the same relevance as the movie script that's a Wes Anderson film. At the end of the day, Anderson's working style is himself. That's exactly what makes his films so irrevocably authentic.