Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012) Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jared Gilman (Sam), Kara Hayward (Suzy)

A tormenting and surprising story of children and adults during the stormy days of the summer of 1965. A pair of [very] young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them.

This was the first of Wes Anderson's films I saw, and it has actual actors in it, so I was quite impressed, and therefore surprised when I later saw some of the crap he had made before that. It was nominated (in the 2013 Oscars) for Best Writing, Original Screenplay, but the director and his co-writer Roman Coppola lost out to Quentin Tarantino (for Django Unchained). I must say I like the production design, as I usually do in an Anderson film, and especially the formality of setups which suggest a theatre stage, or an easel painting. This metafilmic selfconsciousness has always appealed to me in art cinema.

The film begins with another one of Anderson's cutaways, this time revealing the various rooms in the house and their inhabitants. This is accompanied by Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, suggesting that the perspective is that of ... a young person. This continues in the two main story lines: the exploratory love-making of the two twelve-year-olds, and all the scouting business, which takes up half the film, and in which even actors who are normally very serious, like Edward Norton and Harvey Keitel, play the parts of adults as seen by children. This film in these ways continues to inhabit the perspective of all of Anderson's films to this time as being analogous to that of persons in different stages of pre-adult development.

Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 17 March, 2017 | Now: 11 March, 2020