Review: Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom is a cinematic delight, packed with outstanding performances all around, fun and quirky dialogue, magnificent cinematography, an excellent musical score, and a story so good, so charming and fresh that you'll most diffidently want to see the film more than twice. This beautifully crafted spectacle is as entertaining as a movie could possibly be, with genuine laughs and themes of conformity so well presented and realized that make you love the hell out of these two kids who share a terrific romantic bond with each other.
Moonrise Kingdom follows the characters Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward), both twelve-years-old, who basically live not-so-good lives. Sam is part of a boy scouts camp, and he gets teazed by the other kids. Suzy is not so happy at home, where she lives with her parents and her three brothers. When they meet, they form a close friendship. They begin writing letters to each other. They both decide to run away from the life they're living now into the woods so that they can be together and share a masterfully realized youthful relationship with one another (due to the credit of Gilman's and Hayward's terrific performances). A strong storm is coming, and Suzy's parents (played by Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) go out in search for them with a lonely officer (played by Bruce Willis), while the scout leader, Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton), and his troops search for Sam.
Moonrise Kingdom is a great film. Wes Anderson directs the hell out of this movie, putting intense precision and great detail into every key element that makes a great movie: characters, plot, editing, cinematography (especially), acting, writing, music, art direction, and set design. Does the film have a flaw? Maybe, but I can't find it. Moonrise Kingdom certainly lived up to every high expectation I had for it.
While the movie has a lot of great things going for it, the films' highest points, in my opinion, are deffidently the performances and the beautiful cinematography. The acting is fantastic. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand are great in it and are both very funny. Ed Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Bruce Willis - all terrific. But the stars are easily the two kids, Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman, who are FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC and expertly portray young love and the ups and downs of it under the masterful direction and writing of Mr. Wes Anderson. It's so interesting - yet, somewhat sad and powerful - to see these two kids run away from their unhappiness just to share this great relationship. Hayward and Gilman totally breakthrough here. The cinematography is superb. The way Wes Anderson photographs his films is just breathtakingly beautiful. The film is immaculately shot, with some sort of meaning or symbol in each shot whether it's presented within the music, the set, or whatever. It's incredibly framed, and Wes Anderson makes sure he constantly gives you something interesting, beautiful, or really, really cool to look at. There's yellow or brown in nearly every shot, and the way it's handled captures the 1960's atmosphere very well. He creates this world so magestically and artfully.
I honestly have no problems with Moonrise Kingdom. It's just so damn good. Everything the film is going for is well executed and just freakin' great. I've only seen the film once, but I can guarantee you that this is the type of film I can watch over and over and over again and never get sick of it. Believe it or not, my #1 on that list is Drag Me to Hell. Moonrise Kingdom is a terrific film that should be seen by everyone at least once. This is the best movie of the year, so far.
4/4 (See it)