Here’s what Wes Anderson is watching in isolation

The king of escapist cinema has shared what he’s streaming right now.

by Douglas Greenwood
27 March 2020, 11:16am

Wes Anderson, modern cinema’s master of the left-field, is exactly the kind of guy you’d trust in a time like this. His films have been a balm for people in need of light relief for decades already. Whether's The Royal Tenenbaums or The Grand Budapest Hotel, the auteur’s back catalogue is particularly worth revisiting in the midst of this precarious and uncertain time. After all, what better world to slip into momentarily than a Wes one.

But what can you do once you’ve reached the end of your Wes marathon (apart from start watching his filmography all over again)? Well, the director has kindly shared the list of films he’s been revisiting in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic with arthouse movie buffs Criterion. “Wes Anderson writes us occasional letters to let us know what he’s been enjoying on the Criterion Channel,” they wrote in a tweet. “We thought we’d share this one, featuring some of his favorite recent discoveries, in case you’re looking for something surprising to watch.” Cute!

It’s worth mentioning that the movies that Wes lists are all available to watch on The Criterion Channel, a movie buff’s preferred streaming platform that hasn’t quite made it to the UK yet. Instead, you might have to fish these out elsewhere.

1. Les Miserables

No, not the one where Anne Hathaway shaves her head! The French, 1930s Raymond Bernard film. Wes calls it “a masterpiece”.


2. Anne-Marie

A 1936 film about a women fighter pilot, also by Raymond Bernard. “I’d never heard of it,” Wes says.

3. Wooden Crosses

Raymond Bernard’s visceral war film (we’re sensing a theme here) considered to be France’s version of All Quiet on the Western Front.

4. The Out-of-Towners

A Golden Globe-nominated comedy about a husband-and-wife duo who head from Ohio to NYC for a job interview that soon goes pear-shaped. Wes calls it “a great time-machine, that one.”

5. And the Pursuit of Happiness

Louis Malle’s 1986 documentary that, in celebration of the Statue of Liberty’s 100th birthday, captures the lives of immigrants living in the USA.

6. An Angel at My Table

Jane Campion’s 1990 film about the early years of the legendary New Zealand writer Janet Frame. “How many times will I re-watch [this]?” Wes asks.

You can watch these all and more over on The Criterion Channel.

Wes Anderson
the french dispatch