Published on August 29th, 2012 | by Ben Abbott2
MIFF Review: Moonrise Kingdom.
It’s always a delightful experience watching a Wes Anderson film for the first time. His scripts are quirky, his direction style is distinct and the art direction is second to none. Fans of Anderson will be glad to know that Moonrise Kingdom is not only no exception to these traits, it is also shaping up to be his most successful film since The Royal Tenenbaums, profiting over $12 million and counting; which is brilliant news given his previous films being mostly box office disappointments, the worst being The Life Aquatic amounting a loss of $15 million.
Moonrise Kingdom is set in a small island town in the 60’s and follows two young kids as they running away together. Junior Khaki Scout Sam is in love with problem child Suzy, they set out together on their carefree journey as a couple. Unfortunately for these lovebirds, a number of parties are searching near and not so near to track them down. Sam’s Scout Master (Edward Norton) is fearful for his missing Junior Scout, seeking the assistance of Island Police Captain Sharp (Willis) to help find the boy. Suzy’s parents (Murray and McDormand) are lawyers, determined to defend their daughter’s rights to be delinquent while their marriage begins to decay. Sam and Suzy struggle to stay together amidst the secluded beach they dub Moonrise Kingdom, while everyone including Social Services (Tilda Swinton) is determined to keep them apart.
The ensemble cast of Anderson’s latest, is made up largely of new faces to the world of Wes. Ed Norton, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Harvey Keitel and Tilda Swinton fill their parts perfectly. Not to mention the two fresh-face leads in this film; Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward. Both give a stunning performance given their age and subsequent lack of experience, this being the first film role for both of them.
If you like Wes Andersons’ previous work, you’ll no doubt love Moonrise Kindom. However, if you’re unfamiliar with the likes of Rushmore, The Darjeeling Limited and Fantastic Mr Fox you might find if you’re a fan of Stand By Me or This Boy’s Life (A little known 1993 film starring a young Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro) you will find Moonrise Kingdom is right up your alley. It’s definitely in my top ten movies for 2012.