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 year is 1965 and a remote North Eastern coastal community is plunged into confusion when it discovers that two kids have run away. Sam, a discontented Khaki Scout, and Suzy, a put-upon older sister and forgotten daughter, abscond into the forest to escape their dissatisfying existences. The responsible adults Sam's Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) and Suzy's parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) and the entire town set out on a frenzied search, which gets wild when the largest storm in recorded history touches down and puts everyone's life into question. What ensues is a battle between youth and age, hope and disillusionment, faith and cynicism.
In terms of story and character, Wes Anderson's previous films, especially The Royal Tenenbaums and The Darjeeling Limited, are superior. Even in the most compelling relationship in the film between Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) and Sam doesn't embody Anderson's ability to take his characters into deep emotional places of hurt and healing without melodrama. However, the newest addition to the Anderson canon is a cinematic experience.
Moonrise Kingdom's story, co-written with Roman Coppola, takes a definite backseat to style, as Anderson saturates the entire film with a "Norman Rockwell-type of Americana". Stylistically, it may be Anderson's most masterful work, as the costumes, sets, and settings transport the viewer to an alternate universe, a place of wonder and adventure. The soundtrack is especially effective, as it recalls a time when things were simpler: Hank Williams was on the radio, and children listened to records instead of playing video games. However, Anderson isn't content with reminiscing about the year 1965. He takes this nostalgia and twists it, infusing the film with a twinge of sadness through the reality of life's disappointments. He doesn't reject the Rockwellian view of America, but argues that it doesn't tell the whole story.
Moonrise Kingdom is that place of beauty and passion that we all have been in at least once in our lives the one place on earth where we believe that anything is possible. It has since been lost, but it persists in our memories in moments of nostalgia.
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