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!