Boy, am I way behind on reviewing movies. I’ll try to get caught up. We saw this movie back in June.
Two twelve-year-olds fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore — and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in more ways than anyone can handle.
MPAA Rating : PG-13 (for sexual content and smoking); Genres: Drama; Run Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Writers: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
Stars: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jared Gilman
Occasionally a movie comes along that breaks that pattern and changes our perspectives, The Artist being a fine example. Moonrise Kingdom not only takes chances, it does it with zeal. Daring is at the heart of this film. Start with the acting. Edward Norton is exceptional as the over-zealous Khaki Scout leader. Bruce Willis and Frances McDormand take infidelity to a new and hilarious level. And Tilda Swinton, what can you say about a character who refers to herself as Social Services? Every character makes us laugh, cringe, and simply, truly feel their personality. Now move to the screenplay, the use of maps, a narrator, impending hurricanes, social upheaval on a small island, and the anxious calm of young misfits running away from it all.
Moonrise Kingdom is a quasi fantasy film about love. While the main plot line is the most obvious romance story, there are other stories of love embedded here as well. From the Scout Master who loves his job, to wife cheating on her husband with the Captain, to her dissolving marriage to her husband. Love is the theme of this picture.
What is most striking is that the love story between the two children is the most pure, most real love shown in the film. It shows the wonder and beauty that such innocence can bring when it’s combined with a deep love of someone.
The shots in the film are captivating and lovely, with the final one bringing tears to my eyes. There are also subtle and not so subtle moments of humor. Bill Murray has some great lines that are easy to miss. He’s an alluring actor as always, and brings a quiet joy to the film that always supplements Wes Anderson’s oddball style. Most importantly there is a heart to Moonrise Kingdom that few films can match.
As with most Wes Anderson films this is quirky almost to the extreme. But I reject the notion that this film is pretentious. It’s the opposite. It is pure, it is a wonderful meditation of what love should be and how as we age and grow more cynical its true meaning becomes lost on us. Love is a poem that doesn’t need to rhyme. But the longer we’re without it the more we demand that it does.