On one hand, we should be grossed out that one of our finest filmmakers is making commercials. On the other: one of our finest filmmakers technically made a new short film! Wes Anderson has done ads before; we’d rank his American Express commercial, starring him as an ADD-addled, semi-tyrannical version of himself, at least above his still underrated “The Darjeeling Limited.” Now he’s shilled for H&M, and the results are once again about 90-percent Wes Anderson, about 10-percent advertorial. Whatever it is, it’s definitely made by Wes Anderson.
Running just under four minutes, it stars Adrien Brody — a Wes alum, of “Darjeeling” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” — as a mustachioed train conductor treating his small coterie of passengers to a makeshift Christmas Day celebration. As with all Andersons, there are deliberately artificial sets, delightful camera pans and blared pop hits. (There’s room for just one this time: a certain holiday staple by a former Beatle. Alas, it’s not McCartney’s secretly great “Wonderful Christmastime.”)
Anderson’s favorite theme is present, too: a community brought together in harmony thanks to a single-minded eccentric. This one’s a bit more bittersweet. The ad’s title is “Come Together,” and it arrives when we need it most. It takes place, as all Andersons, in a hyper-designed bubble, but it also offers a utopia, a safe space, where a rainbow color of passengers can escape from the horrors of the world — into, as it were, a Wes Anderson production. We’d argue all Andersons about the tension between made-up worlds and the horrors of reality. This one’s a perfect way to take a break from our doomed America; by the time you finish it, Donald Trump will almost certainly have tweeted something stupid/scary.
Enjoy it, because who knows when we’ll get the next Wes Anderson feature. His untitled stop-motion film about a dog — featuring Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton and Bryan Cranston — is still in the works. “Come Together” is a nice dose of his stuff — a little holiday gift to tide us over and take our minds off you know what.