A movie like Up makes deeply felt, richly imagined, and downright populist storytelling look like the natural order of narrative film.
Wes Anderson's films have always featured a kind of play-acting, from the cops-and-robbers shenanigans of Bottle Rocket to the spiritual tourism of The Darjeeling Limited, with his characters trying on different personas for size. Maybe that's why Fantastic Mr. Fox, itself a new kind of persona, fits so clearly and cleverly into Anderson's body of work.
Among the most satisfying of exploitation subgenres, for those who swing that way, is the rape-revenge picture.
Simultaneously a tough guy and a sap, a realist and a romantic, director Michael Mann has for decades now been making movies about what it means to be a man.