It’s not only that I adore dogs, I revere them, so Isle Of Dogs could easily be a blind spot, as today I almost forgot the plot, and I watched it yesterday – but, I did not forget the feeling I had while watching it. And this was pure joy.
It was the same with The Grand Budapest Hotel, I kept watching it again, just to get myself in a good place, when I was in a bad one. This was not fluff, or empty calories, the courtesan au chocolat still feeds me, whenever I need a dose of true goodness in my life. Now I only have to think of it.
This goodness that Isle Of Dogs has too, it’s real, and is based on impeccable quality of filmmaking, ceaseless creativity, and most importantly – a purity of intent. This film if full of love, but open-eyed to life as it is. With its indictment of scapegoating, prejudice, malice, empty form and underlying corruption, it can be applied anywhere, but spreads its wings precisely over the Atlantic from Trump’s US to Brexit Britain, covering all of Europe. Although it is set in Japan, it is very much a film of the Western set of mores.
The source of magic behind these incredible creations, this blend of innocence and weltschmerz, is that Wes Anderson stays true to himself – an outsider to the worlds he creates and observes, but which he loves, absolutely. That gives his work this affectionate, tender, yet deeply intellectual and removed quality, what reviewers and industry professionals like to call ‘whimsy’ because they can’t figure it out, exactly.
The remedy to all life’s ills lies in Wes Anderson films. I finally found it in the character of the Oracle dog, and you will find yours too. Keep watching.