Film Review: Moonrise Kingdom
By Adam Clery on May 25, 2012 in Film
Some people out there genuinely think Twilight is a love story. These people will die, cold and alone, with a litter of resentful cats gnawing away on their remains until their found months later by family members who’ve realised they missed xmas.
It’s not though. It’s a film about how much easier your life is if you sacrifice a personality of your own and just latch on to someone else’s. In fact, the global obsession with that guff had more or less put me off romantic films, or even films where romance guides the story, for ever.
Or so i thought.
As I tutted and rolled my eyes at the end of The Notebook, I was reliably informed that I was dead inside and no film would ever warm the cockles of my old dead heart. But as I got up to leave the screening for Wes Anderson’s latest offering, Moonrise Kingdom, there was a a definite inward pulling of the lips and a clenching of the eyes.
I actually don’t know what you call that face, but it’s the one you make when you see two kittens playing with each other or when someone gets married on a soap.
Set in the backdrop of 60′s America, or as close as Anderson’s imagination will let him approximate 60′s America, it’s the tale of two unpopular 12 year olds who decide to run away together. Living on a very small island, where the mail is flown in every morning and everybody’s seen everybody’s washing hanging up, panic soon sets in.
Where Moonrise Kingdom succeeds where so many over would-be love-ins have failed, is entirely to do with the performance from its two before-unknown leads. Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, with their deadpan, sideways view on the world, and the childish naivety and single-mindedness of their romance, deliver the most convincing and likeable on screen pairing I think I’ve ever seen in a film.
They’re supported by host of big names in Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton who all play some sort of wonderful parody of their most famous roles.
Willis, for example, slumps around lethargically as some sort of backwater John McClane, and Norton running an entire scout troupe with the same haphazard organisation he once wheeled out in Fight Club. Tilda Swinton has a tiny mouth and comes off as a bit mean.
What we have here in all is Wes Anderson writing and directing a loving tribute to childhood romances, as well as his own directorial style. His framing of scenes is, at times, so perfectly crafted that even the weather, the animals, and wind, and whatever look like they’ve been told exactly what to do months in advance.
I shan’t ramble on beacuse, at the time of writing, it’s 5 minutes past 5 on the most beautiful Friday I’ve seen in months and there’s a pint with my name on it, but I’ll say this. If you’re a fan of Wes Anderson movies then this may well be the most perfectly put together piece of cinema you’ll see all year; if you’re not, or you’ve never even heard of him, go see it anyway, it’s amazing to the point of elegance.
Someday I may love another human being, but I doubt it’ll be as much as I love this film.
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