Innocent, brilliant and charming, Moonrise Kingdom separates itself from the crowd.
Wes Anderson is an auteur and when he sets his mind to filmmaking, he writes some of the best films made in recent history. Some would argue that with The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou and The Darjeeling Limited he may have lost his touch, but some stand by his work and retort he hasn’t lost his and is, in fact, still too hot to touch.
Moonrise Kingdom stars breakout actors Jared Gilman and Kara Heywood as Sam and Suzy respectively. Sam, a mentally disturbed orphan and Suzy, the misunderstood pre-teen going through one of those eccentric phases. They’ve fallen deeply in love and construct the proposition of moving away together. They’re young, it’s beautiful, it’s 1965.
The film is deeply complemented by its beautiful setting, Rhode Island, which doubles as the 16-mile island of New Penzance in New England. A desolate place with an endless amount of trees and no roads – just the place to set these adventurous characters. The cinematography is obviously top-notch and given that it is Wes, it’s something to expect.
The screenplay is very well written. One of the things that makes this my favorite Wes Anderson film is the fact that it’s the most grounded. Instead of just saying quirky things, the characters really have something to fight for. The plot just advances a mere 7-pages in and we just have to go along for the ride, it’s imperative. Sam and Suzy are willing to get into a tussle with an entire gang of Khaki scouts for one another and you can’t help but feel like it really is true love.
Anderson squeezes in his French influences like Françoise Madeleine Hardy and to 1971’s Melody. The wonderful A-list cast brings out the best in this work, from Bruce Willis and Ed Norton to Frances McDormand and honestly, there’s just so much one could say about such a wonderful film.
Moonrise Kingdom is my favorite film of 2012 and was nominated by the Academy for Best Original Screenplay. Let’s hope it hits Criterion Collection sometime in the near future, because this film surely is from the age of innocence.