Wes Anderson’s Favorite Movies: 18 Films the Director Likes/Recommends

Anderson’s distinct aesthetic style is heavily influenced by a variety of film genres, from horror and suspense to romance and

Wes Anderson's Favorite Movies

(Clockwise from bottom left): “Moonstruck,” “My Life to Live,” Wes Anderson, “Rosemary’s Baby,” and “Vagabond”

Courtesy Getty Images/Everett Collection

Few filmmakers working today have an aesthetic that’s as instantly recognizable as Wes Anderson’s. His filmography has taken viewers from roadside motels in Texas to lavish European resorts and on the occasional detour to animated worlds where dogs and foxes can talk. But no matter where Anderson sets a movie, you can always tell you’re watching one of his films from the attention to detail, twee color palettes, and impeccable interior design. 

Anderson’s indie film superstardom has prompted many fans to inquire about his influences. And while Anderson isn’t as outspoken about his cinephilia as some of his fellow auteurs, he has been known to occasionally opine about his favorite movies when asked — and tends to surprise when he does.

Interestingly, Anderson’s list of films that shaped him isn’t filled with the kind of whimsical movies that you might expect him to like. In some cases (looking at you, Quentin Tarantino), it’s easy to connect the dots and reverse engineer a filmmaker’s aesthetic based on the films that they love. But Anderson’s interests are extremely well-rounded, to the point where it almost seems like his visual panache and his taste in films were completely separate developments. That doesn’t change the fact that Anderson has largely excellent taste, of course. From classic films by legendary directors to relatively obscure recent works, his favorite movies are clearly the picks of somebody who takes cinema seriously. 

Fans got a deeper look at Anderson’s taste last year when he submitted a ballot for Sight & Sound’s once-a-decade Best Films of All Time Poll. Rather than choosing his 10 favorite movies, he decided to focus on films made in France. He accompanied his picks with the kind of adorable note that his characters have written out on vintage stationary on countless occasions. 

“Like most of us (I think?), I don’t actually have ten favorite movies,” Anderson wrote. “I thought I would pick ten favorite French ones (because I am listing this list in France).”

Rather than representing Anderson’s definitive ranking, this updating list tracks the films that he has singled out as noteworthy. Anyone looking to tide themselves over until “Asteroid City” and “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” premiere later this year should dive in.

With editorial contribution by William Earl.

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