Jun 1, 2012
Moonrise Kingdom 
Moorise Kingdom, directed by Wes Anderson and written by him and Roman Coppola, recently premiered in Cannes to good reviews. It tells the story of two young people from a small island in New England, who decide to run away together, causing the girl's family and the boy's scout troop to work together to try to find the two lovebirds.
The first scene perfectly captures the atmosphere of the film and sets up the tone in both direction and sets and costume designs. The colors are vibrant, the shots are quick and sometimes robotic, with a lot of close-up, but it somehow works perfectly into the story, making it even more appealing.
One of the things that makes Moonrise Kingdom stand out from most of the films I've seen in cinemas recently is the script: it's amusing, but it also moves you; the characters are very likable, but none of them are really happy; it's funny, but in an unassuming, awkward way. It's black and it's white and it's magical. This is probably my favorite thing about the film. Some of the lines are hilarious, the cameos are a breath of fresh air (Jason Schwartzman, Harvey Keitel, Tilda Swinton) and the actors are so well cast, that they deliver it in the most sweet, quirky, yet adorable way. I'm trying to find a way to explain to you the kind of humor you can expect from it, but I can't and maybe it's better this way, so at least you can judge it for yourself. It's not for everyone, but I am sure most will enjoy it.
Acting wise, everyone delivered. Frances McDormand and Bill Murray provided a few laughs and worked well together, although they don't seem to be a good match. Edward Norton was just adorable as the Scout Master Ward and I loved his interaction with the younger boys, and while Tilda Swinton wasn't given enough time to shine, she still did her job wonderfully. The three real stars of the movie which deserve the highest praise were Bruce Willis and the two kids who run away, Jared Gilman and Kaya Wayward. Willis really surprised me in the role of Captain Sharp, a slow minded, but kind man who decides to help them escape, whilst the two youngsters were just outstanding. Their interaction and their chemistry, but most especially, their individual characters and their performance of them were just adorable and a pleasure to watch. I don't want to give too much away, but you'll understand me when you'll see the beach scene when they dance and kiss, or the one between them and Jason Schwartzman, or the very last scene at the house. Without them, the movie would have been nothing.
From a filmmakers point of view, it was very interesting to watch and Wes' technique is not something you see every day- well, at least, I haven't. Like I mentioned before, the way Anderson chose to shoot it was very quick, going from wide to close-ups in a rather abrupt way. It's not very fluid, but then again, the story is made in such a way that it perfectly matches it, as the actions of the kids are awkward and not natural or sometimes realistic. Visually, it's beautiful and I love the colors and the costumes that they used. The score is a little bit out of place, but then again, so is the movie, so yet again, it fits.
In some ways, I consider it to be this year's Midnight in Paris- I say that because it's a very well made film, quite simplistic in some aspects at the first glance, but with a fantastic script, wonderful star cast and very enjoyable. Maybe it's a bit of a stretch to compare the two, but in my mind, the connection seems right.
Bottom line, Moonrise Kingdom is a joy to watch and it will definitely light up your mood. The film is extremely well done; it's unusual in many ways, but somehow it all works. Wes Anderson just delivered one of this year's best films and I highly recommend you to see it!
Labels: 2012, Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Cannes, direction, Edward Norton, Jared Gilman, Kaya Wayward, Moonrise Kingdom, performance, pick of the day, poster, review, script, Tilda Swinton, Wes Anderson
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Wow, I hope I can see this soon! I love the cast and colors just from the trailer. Nice write-up, Diana!ReplyDelete
Thanks Andina, I hope you will get to see it soon!Delete
Wonderful review. I really want to see this, but unfortunately there's still no release date in my country. This film seems to be flying under the radar especially compared to the other movies out right now, but I have do have the feeling its going to be great.ReplyDelete
Hello there, thank you for the comment! It is flying under the radar, but I heard it broke records on limited releases, so it's going the right direction! I hope you will see it, too, soon!Delete
It's coming to Atlanta next weekend so I'm going to try and see it if there's a location nearby as I'm sort of strapped for cash right now.ReplyDelete
Definitely worth your money, I think you will like it!Delete
Wonderful review! I saw some shots from this movie and they look absolutely gorgeous and the story seems so cute. Can't wait to see it!ReplyDelete
If you need a break from you exams, go see this movie one night- you will relax and enjoy it very much!Delete
I'm so glad you liked it! I feel really, really optimistic about this one now (even though Australia doesn't get it until August - wahhh!!!) I'm really hoping Melbourne International Film Festival gets it or something, I don't think I can wait that long! Great review, I know you were really nervous about writing this one, but it turned out great :DReplyDelete
Thanks Ruth! I hope you will see it soon, but August is fine, too, don't worry!Delete
Splendid review, Diana! I hope to see this on the big screen and sounds like the indie theater near me will show this next week. I'm not generally a huge fan of Wes' work but this one just looks enchanting!ReplyDelete
Like Alex said, it's different from what Anderson usually does, but it's great, please see it, I think you will like it!Delete
I am so glad to see that you highly enjoyed this one. I am greatly looking forward to it. It looks so great. You giving it such great praise along with the characters makes me even more excited to see it!ReplyDelete
I'm glad I convinced you and I hope you will like it! Enjoy!Delete
Great review, I didn't love it quite as much as I hoped, but still found it quite enjoyable, and I do agree with the parallels to Midnight in Paris. They were also both the opening film at Cannes.ReplyDelete
Yeah, you're right, they were both opening films! Midnight in Paris was quite successful, maybe Moonrise Kingdom will have a similar fate!Delete