I’ve been pretty excited about Moonrise Kingdom ever since it appeared on Wes Anderson‘s IMDB page ages ago. It’s his first live action film since 2007’s, The Darjeeling Limited and happily for me, it didn’t disappoint in any way.
The movie is a handcrafted tale of two love-struck twelve year olds, Sam and Suzy. They meet one day by chance, and after a period of postal liaisons, hatch a plot to elope together. I don’t want to spoil too much, but let’s just say it doesn’t exactly go to plan and they’re pursued by parents, social workers, and an entire scout camp.
Anderson has toned down his quirky style a notch, maybe his close relationship with the setting and story (it’s based in mid 1960’s New England, not a million miles away from Anderson’s childhood home) has given him the confidence to see the film as a whole, and it feels like his most coherent piece of cinema to date.
His trademark humour is still there, the beautifully coloured cinematography and often surprising choice of soundtrack too, it’s a movie that requires your attention, but utterly rewards you giving it.
He delights in ensemble pieces, and the acting on show is, as usual, of the highest order. Bruce Willis is particularly brilliant and heartfelt as local Policeman, Walt Bishop with perhaps one of his best on screen performances to date.
You get the feeling actors relish the chance to work with Anderson and regular Jason Schwartman is perfectly cast as an overgrown scout. Bill Murray as Suzy’s Dad steals practically every scene he’s in while the two young main leads are excellent as fearless runaways.
If like me you are already a big Wes Anderson fan you’ll come away happy. If you’re new to his movies, Moonrise Kingdom is a great place to start.
Moonrise Kingdom is out in cinemas now.