Wes Anderson is quirky and unique. That is what I love about him and Moonrise Kingdom seems to be the perfect accumulation of all of Anderson’s style and talent. While I was watching it I could not help but feel happy. It is brilliant! Funny, touching, silly and poignant. Right now, it is my favorite film of 2012 (so far).
Let’s start with the story written by Anderson and Roman Coppola. It centers around two special 12-year-old kids and their struggle to find themselves and love while running away from a New England island town. Appropriately, it is set in 1965 and there are real risks and dangers involved–even if it is presented in a zany sort of way–and that elevates the stakes. The narrative moves quickly and keeps you engrossed from start to finish. As always, there are so truly affecting lines thrown in, among all the craziness, that make you nod with agreement and understanding.
Anderson’s direction is a thing of beauty. Honestly. Some of the sequences are masterful–blended together seamlessly and able to create greater impact. It is 100% Anderson. From voice over to side swipes. Awesome. There is a bit of magic in this one.
Now for the cast. WOW! The two stand outs are the 12-year-old leads. Thousands tried out and the perfect pair was chosen. In their début, Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, knock it out of the park! I am impressed and will be watching their careers rise–because it will happen. They’re both natural and have a charisma that shines on-screen. It must have intimidated them to be surrounded by some incredible talent–Edward Norton (fantastic)–Bruce Willis (melancholy perfection)–Bill Murray (DUH! Awesome)–Frances McDormand (lovely)–Tilda Swinton (great)–and Jason Schwartzman (hilarious). I can only imagine how crazy and wonderful that must have been for these two young kids!
Yes. I can go on and on. But, as you know–I want you to go out and experience it yourself. Even if you usually do not enjoy Anderson’s films–try this one–you may be surprised how much you will enjoy it. Hopefully, it will make you happy too!