Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom - Movie Review

If you’re in the mood for a sweet love story, but you don’t want to look like a sap, Wes Anderson’s new, Moonrise Kingdom has got you covered.

Set in 1965 on an island off the New England coast, two 12 year olds, who don’t fit in anywhere else, meet and fall in love. Their decision to run away together sets off not only a search party, but course for those involved to reassess their lives.

If you’re a fan of Wes Anderson you are assured to love this movie. If you are not a fan or you’re not familiar with his work, I think this movie will win you over.

In all of his films, the characters are strange and everyone talks in a monotone voice. I’ve seen only a couple and the odd charm was appealing. I was completely won over, however, by The Fantastic Mr. Fox. In that movie we could see the strong message of family and love wrapped in absurd humor.

Moonrise Kingdom is no different. Although many major league actors share the screen here, it’s the two kid leads, Kara Hayward (Suzy) and Jared Gilman (Sam), that carry the film. The audience has to believe in their young love and devotion to each other. As relative newcomers surrounded by Hollywood heavyhitters, they both manage to be funny, sweet, jaded and innocent all at once.

As the search goes on for the missing teens, we flip back in time and learn more about their story. We also find out more about their family life and what prompted them to want to run off together. Even though this film doesn’t portray realistic lives, Suzy and Sam’s pre-teen angst is very relatable.

Being set in the mid 60’s also casts a more “innocent” time over the film, but luckily we do see some shades of reality that no decade was ever that innocent.

This film took me by surprise. I found myself laughing out loud and smiling at the sweeter scenes. I even liked Bill Murray! I actually look forward to a second viewing, but that will need to wait for the DVD. My summer list is already too long.


Runs Like A Gay said...

I feel bad, but I've never felt the urge to see a Wes Anderson movie - even the trailers have me a touch suspicious.

Should I use Moonrise Kingdom as a entry into his back catalogue or should I dig up one of his earlier films first?

Colleen said...

I've only seen a few myself. I think this film shows his maturity as a filmmaker, blending his quirky style with a great story. Die hard fans probably won't agree with me, but I would say see this one and don't worry about the earlier stuff just yet.