Director: Wes Anderson
Starring: Jared Gilman, Kara Heyward, Bill Murray, Ed Norton, Bruce Willis
Wes Anderson typically directs films that, I feel, take a while to warm up to. With Moonrise Kingdom it’s completely different as I loved this film from start to finish, and at first glance this may be my favorite Wes Anderson entry. It brings a kind of sweet humor to a serious situation, while at the same time forcing the serious situation to be a bit goofy because it involves children.
The movie is about a couple of lovebirds, a boy scout and a depressed daughter, who run away together on a not-so-big island. The boy scout, Sam, is, or at least pretends to be, an expert at survival skills. The girl, Suzy, well… she brings a cat and books with her for the journey. The relationship between Sam & Suzy can be looked at as puppy-love, but the conversations they have with one another are like the conversations adults should be having with each other. They don’t tip-toe around any of their feelings. It’s the innocence of these children that is just so amazingly refreshing. All they’re concerned about is each other, and that makes the romance in this film feel more genuine than most, even though it’s between two younger kids.
The people who are on the hunt to find the kids and bring them back to their homes safely are the characters who seem to have more or the problems. Bill Murray plays Suzy’s father Walt Bishop, who is quite possibly an alcoholic and is in a troubled marriage with his wife Laura, played by the wonderful Frances McDormand. Laura is having an affair with Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) who is in love with Laura, but appears to know that she doesn’t feel the same way (ouch!). And then there’s Scout Master Ward, played by Edward Norton, who has some career issues, to put it politely.
All of these characters are so convinced that Sam and Suzy are the troubled ones, that they fail to see their own flaws. Yet, as the film progresses, Sam and Suzy become rather inspirational and force all of these characters to reevaluated their respective situations. While many of the actions that Sam and Suzy take can be looked at as irresponsible and dangerous, in reality they seem to have less problems because they have found each other.
This film is a movie that’s filled with emotion, humor, wit, and sweetness. It is so jam-packed with moments that have the possibility to give the viewer a different experience each time, which makes it well worth multiple viewings.
I can’t really recommend a film more than this one. It can provide any type of experience one needs in a film, no matter the type of mood you are in.
My Rating: 4 out of 5