Iconoclast, auteur and humorist, there’s no mistaking a Wes Anderson film. Love him or hate him, his fascination with the world he creates for each of his movies defines his universe like no other working director today. It’s a universe that’s simultaneously familiar and peculiar, typically filled with the same cast of actors operating with the kind creative inspiration that’s woefully lacking in most Hollywood films. Which we think is great. Besides, you’re almost always guaranteed at least a cameo of Mr. Bill Murray—that alone calls for a toast. So we’re pairing five drinks with five of Anderson’s best films.
Bottle Rocket (1996)
The public was introduced to the quirky world of Mr. Anderson in this fine, sun-bathed indie film. Some of his soon-to-be-signature elements, like the detailed plans for the series of heists spelled out in Dignant’s notebook, hint at what’s to come. But the joyful mood of the film itself is vintage Anderson. Pair the southern tale with a few bottles of Tecate, so you can use the empties to set up a volley of fireworks once the movie draws to its comical conclusion.
Some consider this the most purely Andersonian film in his oeuvre. Quirkiness without any cloy (the character of Max Fischer), painstaking details rendered with the measured affection of a true artist (the sets of the plays that Max puts on), plotting more akin to a novel than a movie, and a performance by Bill Murray that proved the man’s talents never wane. And that soundtrack! In honor of one of the more memorable punch lines, go with a Champagne cocktail, the drink Max downs repeatedly after staging his Serpico-esque play and then goes to dinner with Murray, Miss Cross and her date—“I like your nurses uniform, guy.” | “They’re OR scrubs.” | “O-R they?”—complete with a spit take from Murray.
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
Anderson really hits his groove with this ensemble cast detailing the antics of a somewhat dysfunctional family. You get Luke Wilson in a beard and a ’70s headband, Gwyneth Paltrow at her spaciest, and Gene Hackman as the memorable patriarch. You get peyote, cocaine, lots of cigarettes, matching jump suits, Jew ‘fros, and the death of the family dog. We say celebrate with a vodka martini, which seems to fit the classy ‘hood where their family home sits.
The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
This train odyssey is perhaps Anderson’s most polarizing film. Either you see it as the next logical step in his stylized movie-making, or the point where he goes off the rails (pun intended). Contemplate where you fall in that analysis by sipping on a gin and tonic in honor of the country in which the movie takes place. And add a bit more lime to reference the “sweet lime” drinks the Indian stewardess serves Owen Wilson’s character. Or go meta and make a snake bite in honor of the poisonous cobra that Adrien Brody’s character buys as they travel through India.
Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Anderson’s latest exited the 2015 Oscars with an impressive list of awards, most of ‘em applauding the film’s mis en scene and reaffirming that his vision is entirely unique among his peers. The quirkiness is perfected here, as personified in the title cards, the various image aspect ratios, the perfect dioramas models, loads of cameos, and a star turn from Ralph Fiennes. You also get some wonderful mountain scenery and a memorable chase between a downhill-skiing Willem Dafoe and an out-of-control sled. Match the cold climate on the screen with a warming mulled wine, and spray some L’Air de Panache cologne around; the fragrance was launched by Chypre Floral in 2014 in honor of the film.