"14 pints of mouthwash rations per week" - alcohol in Wes Anderson movies

There is already a delightful article on all this, but… If I needed some kind of thesis or dissertation, how about the roll of alcohol in Wes Anderson movies. How is it used as a plot device, character motivation, and just overall establishing the Wes Anderson feel.

The rat in The Fantastic Mr. Fox is motivated by “cider,” it’s what made kept him going - an alcoholic. Mr. Fox makes a rash celebratory toast after, as he says, having had too much to drink already. The animals tunnels are then flushed out with a flood of Bean’s cider!

Bean is said to survive primarily on his cider, which is extra strong and custom made. We must presume he is drunk the whole time, drinking what looks like between two to three gallons of cider a day (though, perhaps his wife shares the cider so it’s slightly less). This is likely what makes him obsess over the fox and make the dumb decision at the end to keep sieging the animals out.

Despite this alcoholism, Bean retains all of his dexterity. He also has a vert Hunter Thompson look: tall, thin, and with a constant cigarette holder and drink in hand - also always with a pistol!

The beginning of The French Dispatch uses the delivery of a tray of drinks as a sort of pacing and structure. I don’t know the term, but that plate of drinks is what drags (directs? creates the path for?) the camera through the first scene.

Also in that one: in prison, Moses is slowly killing himself by drinking 14 pints of mouthwash rations per week" until he’s motivated to re-discover his art in his art class. As he says:

Well, I’ve been here 3,647 days and nights. Another 14,603 to go. I drink 14 pints of mouthwash rations per week. At that rate, I think I’m going to poison myself to death before I ever get to see the world again, which makes me feel very sad. I gotta change my program. I gotta go in a new direction. Anything I can do to keep my hands busy, I’m gonna do. Otherwise, I think maybe it’s gonna be a suicide. And that’s why I signed up for clay pottery and basket weaving. My name is Moses.

About midway through her lecture, J.K.L. Berensen, abruptly stops saying something like, “now, I’ll have my drink,” pulls out what looks like a portable martini set from under the podium, pours a drink, takes a sip, and then keeps lecturing.

What do each of the drinks say about the characters? Bill Murray’s character in The French Dispatch has a Prairie Oyster, harkening back to Kansas, but it has an actual oyster in it, something you wouldn’t actually have in Kansas (so close from the sea in the 1950s). And the actual person, Bill Murray, has a bunch of booze lore already.

And so forth!


  • There’s a lot urgency about urgency around here.

  • “Pre-emptive nothingburger.”

  • Wow! COMIN' HOT! “We don’t run blogs because blogs are not journalism. We run news analysis stories or opinion columns (which are written in the first person and demonstrate an opinion). If you do not have an opinion that can be backed up by compelling and expert knowledge, do not write in the first person.” // The number on thing they’re missing is how much - if at all! - you get paid.

  • I’d never argue with them. They’re way too smart.

  • “The concept of a fey creature is a gamer-created mishmash of virtually all folkloric creatures that don’t eat humans, aren’t of godlike power, aren’t significantly larger than humans, are corporeal, and are basically of a human body type.” Tome of Adventure Design.

  • “The kingdom of Wessex was now a swamp and, for a few days, it possessed a king, a bishop, four priests, two soldiers, the king’s pregnant wife, two nurses, a whore, two children, one of whom was sick, and Iseult." The Pale Horseman.

  • “We do not 'leverage” anything." Google diction directives.

  • “unlocked efficiency gains.” They found that lost key.

  • “This floor has been taken over by sentient water coolers that stab people with their water dispenser faucets - which are now fanged - to suck their blood.” Here.

Relative to your interests

Only two today. If you want more links you should be subscribing to and reading Seroter’s daily reading list. I look forward to it each day…and often steal links from him!


I haven’t “released” this video yet, so here, dear readers, you can get a sneak peak:

Sorry about the coffee mustache. It’s one of those things that happens as you get older.

I’ve been filming and putting up more tiny videos (and a few for work). Predictably, the how to have more fun with solo Dungeons and Dragons one is doing well.

I’m starting to like this short video format. It’s kind of like Tweeting used to be. 60 seconds is just for YouTube. Thanks to how quick I can edit with Descript, I’ve been making two versions: a 60 second or less one for YouTube, and as long as it should be for LinkedIn, TikTok, and Instagram.,, @cote,,