Verdict: 4.5 / 5
It’s a Wes Anderson film. That’s probably the only description needed to explain Moonrise Kingdom, which is ripe with the Oscar nominated director’s unique signature style and themes. Those familiar with his works would know what to expect – an usual folk soundtrack, dry humour, poignant and eccentric characters, flawless camera work, cinematic grandeur, and of course, Bill Murray. You have no option but to marvel at the world Anderson creates in Moonrise Kingdom, an unadulterated delight.
You two are the most appallingly incompetent custodial guardians Social Services has ever had the misfortune to encounter in a TWENTY-SEVEN year career! – Social Services
Moonrise Kingdom, the seventh Wes Anderson film, doesn’t break rank from his previous works, most notably Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Instead, it fits neatly in to the list of quirky films he has produced over the years. Like Bob Dylan’s music, Anderson’s dry, arty, sepia-graded films are an acquired taste that some might look over as dull. But anyone with an acute and trained eye can learn to appreciate the art in his works.
Jiminy cricket, he flew the coop! – Scout Master Ward
Moonrise Kingdom is set in 1965 where a remote coastal community has fallen into panic after two young teenagers go missing. Sam (Jared Gilman), a twelve-year-old boy scout, and his girlfriend Suzy (Kara Hayward) have eloped, believing that they have fallen in love. Sam’s scout master (Edward Norton) and Suzy’s parents (Bill Murray, Frances McDormand) gather the entire town in search of the two love-birds who have headed into the wilderness, relying on Sam’s scout abilities for survival. What ensues is a battle between young teenage puppy love and their connection with estranged unhappy adults.
Our daughter’s been abducted by one of these beige lunatics! – Walt Bishop
Anderson unites a team of stellar performers, including Bruce Willis as the town’s sad and bored sheriff, Edward Norton as the persnickety scout leader, Bob Balaban as the story’s touristy narrator, Bill Murray and Frances McDormand as the mournful parents, Tilda Swinton as the rigid social worker and, of course, the tender and genuine young leads Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward.
It’s a heart-warming and funny tale filled with all sorts of nostalgia. Moonrise Kingdom is guaranteed to suck you in.