A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Thomas Bo Larsen,
Set on an island off the coast of New England in the 1960s, as a young boy and girl fall in love they are moved to run away together. Various factions of the town mobilize to search for them and the town is turned upside down -- which might not be such a bad thing. Written by
In the past, Anderson has whirled us from melancholy dreamscapes set deep below the Pacific to tales of inter-generation betrayals in the name of love, from doomed romances in Paris hotels to deliriously bizarre animal revolutions in the English countryside. But for all the retro-stylings his films so proudly wear, Moonrise Kingdom is Anderson's first period piece - a tender love story set in the sepia-soaked sixties of Anderson's youth that have worked their influence into every one of his movies. It is fitting that this film is his most childlike - not in any way any simpler than his other films (as anyone with an accurate memory of childhood will remember all it's complexities; the way each trivial thing became a nest of thorns), but an accurate and deeply heartfelt depiction of childhood. It is not aiming to be as crushingly dramatic as Life Aquatic or as deeply tragic as Hotel Chevalier, because that wouldn't be appropriate for the story it's trying to tell. Instead, while still bearing Anderson's still surprising streak of black humour (some acts of violence really catch you off-guard; then again, children are violent so hats off Wes), it is largely concerned with the dramas and tragedies of youth. Yes, it is less ambitious than say The Life Aquatic but it also has none of the flaws that that film does (and believe me, I am a massive Steve Zissou fan). Instead, it is perfectly executed, wonderfully acted poignant beauty, with fantastic performances across the board (especially from newcomers Gilman and Hayward). This, while not his most ambitious, is certainly Anderson's most perfect work so far. You owe it to yourself to see this movie.
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