Remember the time you first fell in love? When you thought adults were dumb, you may have had trouble fitting in and the only person who "got you" was your first love? It was you against the world and all you wanted to do was be with the object of your love, all the time.
Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom takes us back to that time. Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, it tells the story of Sam (Jared Gilman), a 12-year old cub-scout and Suzy (Kara Hayward), the girl he loves. Both feel like misfits and after exchanging some letters they decide to run away together to a place they call Moonrise Kingdom. As the pair goes deeper into the woods, the adults in their lives form a search party, while a Black Beacon storm is looming.
The whole movie has the look of a 1960's faded photograph along with a catchy retro soundtrack. True to Anderson form, it's also brimming with cooky characters. As seen through the eyes of the tweens, these grownups appear less smart than the kids and provide a ton of comic relief.
Bill Murray and Frances McDormand are Suzy's lawyer parents. Bruce Willis is the Captain of Police tasked with finding the kids while Edward Norton is the hapless but ultimately caring Khaki Scout Leader. Even brief appearances by Tilda Swinton (Social Services) Jason Schwartzman (Cousin Ben) and Harvey Keitel (Scout Captain) are golden.
I confess to being a Wes Anderson fan. The two-time Academy Award-nominated filmmaker directed The Royal Tenebaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Rushmore - all of which I loved. So I had high expectations going in to see this. And while I wasn't sure what I thought at first, about twenty minutes in, the movie and the two leads won me over. If you enjoyed his previous films, Anderson's latest won't disappoint.
Suzy and Sam dancing awkwardly in their underwear on the beach to Le Temps de L'Amour by French pop singer Françoise Hardy and sharing their first kiss.
There are too many to list here, but these three got the biggest audience reaction:
1. Captain Sharp: "I can't argue against anything you are saying. Then again I don't have to because you are twelve."
2. Sam: "Suzy, I love you, but you have no idea what you're talking about." Suzy: "I love you too."
3. Suzy: "Was he a good dog?" Sam: "Who's to know..."
Who to see it with
Just about anyone, but be sure your companion is open to quirky and deadpan humour. If they didn't enjoy Anderson's past movies, they may not like this one either. It's pure Wes Anderson so especially if you're a fan, it's a must-see.
(photo credits: FOCUS Features)