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
The thing that I enjoy most about Wes Anderson films is that they each feel like a great adventure and in this sense I think Moonrise Kingdom is his best yet. It tells that tale of Sam, an orphan on scout camp, and Suzy, a misunderstood girl, as they run away together. At first I found the two actors playing the kids to be kind of limp but after a few minutes I warmed to them and I actually think they were both pretty good overall, particularly Jared Gilman who plays Sam and even more so knowing that it's the first acting he's ever done. The rest of the cast are all pursuing or helping them in some way and there a couple of sub-plots with the island's policeman (played by Bruce Willis) and the parents of Suzy (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand).
I thought that the rest of the cast was great. In fairness I am a bit biased because I love Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis and Frances McDormand but even so I have to say that they were all really good, especially Edward Norton who plays the scout master, and Bill Murray. There are also a couple of minor roles for Jason Schwartzman, Harvey Keital and Tilda Swinton who were also a lot of fun. Everyone in the cast fits into their role really well which is obviously exactly what you want, but not only is that the case for the main roles but also for the less important ones, like the scout troupe (especially Sam's 'enemy'), Suzy's three brothers or the oddball narrator.
Cinematography wise I didn't think this movie was particularly spectacular, especially in comparison to other Wes Anderson movies like 'The Life Aquatic' or 'The Royal Tenenbaums'. There were a couple of shots that were cool though, some really long zoom outs (which sounds clichéd but it worked) and the doll house type ones that I love and think are awesome.
I wouldn't expect to wet your pants laughing at any moment in 'Moonrise Kingdom' but it is funny. There are a couple of laugh out loud moments and as a whole the jokes are pretty sharp and intelligently done. The reason I like the humour in this movie is that it's a part of the ambiance and feel of it, it won't make you crack up but it will make you have a smile on your face for pretty much the whole thing and leave you feeling strangely happy.
That kind of ambiance is really why the movie is so good, and is possibly Wes Anderson's best movie. The whole story is this fantastic blend of reality and child-like dreaming and it's wonderful. At times I felt kind of nostalgic and sad that I'm not a kid anymore. On the other hand it feels like a tribute to those myths and dreams of being a child and it works so well. This is the kind of film that I feel I could watch over and over again, each time spotting something new but also feeling good and enjoying the overall purpose.
Definitely go and see it!
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