Film Review: Moonrise Kingdom

This weekend I tried my best to be a domestic goddess. It didn’t go that great as the Oreo truffles I made ended up all stuck together and kept falling off the sticks. I was going to blog about the recipe but I’ve stashed that one on the back burner for now and I’m going to give it a few tweaks and try it again. I’ll let you know how that one goes. Other than that I started a mass de-clutter of our flat and began putting things on eBay, all proceeds will be going straight into the wedding fund. As I’d emptied the wardrobe of all the unloved gems that lived there, I went on a massive ironing spree of the items returning to it. Very unlike me. To disguise the boredom of my ironing, I watched Moonrise Kingdom. I’ve been sent a preview copy to review for Filmwerk as it is released on Blu-ray and DVD on Monday 1st October 2012. This is what I thought of it…

Moonrise Kingdom Poster

I find Wes Anderson’s films pretty hit and miss, for example I like Rushmore but hate The Royal Tenenbaums and I like The Darjeeling Limited but hate The Life Aquatic. Moonrise Kingdom, however, has totally broken this cycle and is Anderson’s first film that I actually love! (Apart from Fantastic Mr Fox, but that doesn’t really count!)

Moonrise Kingdom is the quirky love story of two twelve year olds, Suzy and Sam, who run away together and the disruption caused to their sleepy, little island when they do. I never thought a romantic comedy centring on two children could possibly work but it really does.
Wes Anderson regular, Bill Murray, is brilliant in this film as Suzy’s dad. He plays his character so straight and brings a lot of humour into the flick as he ploughs through his disillusioned life soaked in red wine. The stars of the show are definitely Jared Gilman who plays Sam and Kara Hayward who plays Suzy. The young stars had never featured in anything major prior to this and their inexperience is completely disguised by the sheer talent of the duo, or maybe it just adds to their charm. I’m unsure if the casting of unknown actors was deliberate as they don’t come with the baggage of being recognisable as other characters especially as the story is so intensely focused on the pair. Whatever the thinking behind their choice, it was an excellent one as their performances are innocent yet powerful, a difficult balance to strike.

Wes Anderson certainly has a unique way with film and it’s near impossible to confuse one of his with one by any other director. There are certain things he loves and their presence can always be felt. Most prevalently, these include peculiar, independent children with eccentric, detached parents, especially morose, pre-adolescent girls and an oddly comforting orangey-brown 70s colour palette. Moonrise Kingdom embraces all these things and is Anderson at his distinctive, idiosyncratic best.

Have you seen this film? What did you think of Moonrise Kingdom? Do you like Wes Anderson films?



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