Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Wes Anderson, I've missed you.

His 1998 film, Rushmore , is one of my all-time favourite films.

Follow-ups The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou just didn't do it for me.

But The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom are a welcome return to film for a very talented American filmmaker.

Sam (Jared Gilman) is the odd man out with the Khaki Scouts. His troop has set up camp on an island near New England. Sam, cared for by a foster family, isn't making any friends with his peers. He decides to break out - his form of escape offers an early hearty laugh in this 2012 release. Sam's goal is to meet up with Suzy (Kara Hayward), a young girl he met earlier during a production of British composer Benjamin Britten's Noye's Fludde.

Suzy, always outfitted with a pair of binoculars, is on the outs with her family too including parents Mr. and Mrs. Bishop (Bill Murray, Frances McDormand).

Their running away sparks a major search led by the head of the island's police department, Capt. Sharp (Bruce Willis) with Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) at his side. Turns out Sam's foster family doesn't want him back. Institutional care is next with Social Services (Tilda Swinton) dispatched to pick Sam up.

There's so much to enjoy in Anderson's film - a killer soundtrack, great dialogue (Suzy: "I wish I was an orphan. Most of my favourite characters are.", Mr. Bishop: "Our daughter has been abducted by one of those beige lunatics."), intriguing set up of scenes with action in the background to also watch.

What's uncomfortable in Moonrise Kingdom is the romantic side of Sam and Suzy's relationship. These kids are tweens and they're French kissing and sexual touching. That creeps this film fan out.

Anderson and Roman Coppola received an Academy Award nomination for the screenplay.

Overall, there's lots to enjoy and I look forward to watching the background of scenes on a second viewing, but I'll skip through Suzy and Sam's romantic interlude. Gross.

RATING: 8/10

FUN FACTS: Jason Schwartzman, star of Rushmore, appears as Cousin Eddy in Moonrise Kingdom. He and co-scriptwriter Coppola are cousins.

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