Review: Moonrise Kingdom
What We ThoughtGenre: Comedy
What We Liked :Fantastic Acting, Solid Direction, Trademark Wes Anderson
What We Disliked:Trademark Wes Anderson
Moonrise Kingdom is one of Wes Anderson’s best and one of the years best films.
What kind of bird are you?
Moonrise Kingdom is the latest film from director Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums) and follows two lovelorn children during their escape from their realities.
Moonrise Kingdom is about 12-year-old Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) and 12-year-old Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward). During a Khaki Scout field trip, Shakusky sneaks into the dressing room of some young women about to perform a play. He is immediately love struck from the peculiar and troubled Suzy Bishop. Her animal in the play, a crow, showcases how she is always the outcast. Shakusky feels the same way in his life and they begin a letter correspondence to escape their predicaments together.
Dear Suzy, walk four hundred yards due north from your house to the dirt path which has not got any name on it. Turn right and follow to the end. I will meet you in the meadow.
The story takes place on an island off of coastal New England during the 1960’s. The typical technology restraints expected in that era are present and add a bit to the proceedings. What would be a minor inconvenience finding two children on an island in the modern era, here it is a lot more complicated. Unfortunately for the inhabitants of New Penzance, a hurricane with the force none of them have ever experienced is coming.
While the children are trying to escape their own lives, the adults have problems all their own. Mrs. Bishop (Frances McDormand) is not a happily married woman. Living on this small island with the four children has taken a lot out of her life and her marriage. Mrs. Bishop enters an affair with the island deputy, Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis). It isn’t long after the disappearance of Suzy, that Mr. Bishop (Bill Murray) can see what has gone on. Khaki Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) is trying to live up to excellence of his troop leader, but by being friendly with the kids instead of a parental figure he has lost control of his troop.
With all the big name actors involved with the production of Moonrise Kingdom, its hard to believe the talent of the two leading children. Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward own this movie completely and everyone seems like really fancy window dressing. Their romance feels authentic and their adolescence, blunders, and impatience shines through. Wes Anderson asks a lot from the children in this movie, but they manage to captivate throughout.
Well known for his quirky and whimsical style, Wes Anderson has brought his signature to the small island of New Penzance and created an authentic representation of young love. If Wes Anderson’s style hasn’t impressed you thus far, don’t expect Moonrise Kingdom to change your mind. Some of the events captured on film are uncomfortable, but they never lose their realistic quality. The characters in Wes Anderson films live in a world outside of the norm and that’s for the best.
Add Moonrise Kingdom to the list of successful Wes Anderson films. The soundtrack for the film exceeds on multiple levels and just like the song, The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, the sum of all the parts in Moonrise Kingdom make a tremendous achievement. Moonrise Kingdom is one of Wes Anderson’s best and one of the year’s best films.