If you like the quirky weirdness of Wes Anderson movies, then you should see Moonrise Kingdom. I’m not going to say it’s for everyone. It’s the sort of film style you either love deeply and madly or can take it or leave it. Only you know which one applies to you.
And if you do know, then you’ve probably seen Wes Anderson’s other movies, like The Darjeeling Limited, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Rushmore, Bottle Rocket and The Royal Tenenbaums. He works a lot with his cousin, Jason Schwartzman, and friends Owen Wilson and Luke Wilson. He met Owen while they were roommates at the University of Texas. In an Esquire article, Martin Scorsese called Anderson “the next Martin Scorsese.”
Actors must love working with Anderson, because he always gets the top-name actors working at the moment. Take Moonrise Kingdom. Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray parents of a young girl played by Kara Hayward, who becomes friends with a boy played by Jared Gilman. Tilda Swinton and Jason Schwartzman are also in the movie.
The story is set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, and tells the story of two twelve-year-olds who 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 one.
I’ll say this: Even if you’re not in the madly-and-deeply camp, Wes Anderson movies stick with you, because they’re unlike any other movie in theaters or on DVD today. They’re like a piece of artwork that doesn’t fade into the din of other commercial movies with lots of explosions, car chases and dramatic scenes.
A few Moonrise Kingdom reviews:
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: “The usual complaints and caveats about Anderson — he’s precious, his characters have no grounding in the real world — can be made about Moonrise Kingdom, but so what?”
Will Chadwick, We Got This Covered: “Moonrise Kingdom is a totally charming and enchanting piece of work from director Wes Anderson, who along with a great cast provide one of the delights of the year.”
Justin Craig, FoxNews.com: “Wes Anderson’s refreshingly original Moonrise Kingdom is an unconventional children’s adventure for adults, filled with with striking colors, textures and humor, and teeming with childhood innocence.”
Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: “Anderson and his actors are able to convey more genuine feeling through these devices than most filmmakers can with more traditional means.”
Craig Matthison, TheAge.com.au: “Moonrise Kingdom, which the director wrote with regular collaborator Roman Coppola, feels like his most emotionally honest work since his 1998 breakthrough, Rushmore.”
Your turn. Have you seen Moonrise Kingdom? What did you think? If you’re in Traverse City, it’s playing at the State Theatre through Thursday.