Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward
May 25, 2012 (NY/LA)
Expands Throughout Summer
1 hour 34 minutes
As a fish swimming in the great sea of high school, it can be said that romance is sparked everywhere one looks. Throughout this entire year as a freshman in high school, I have seen so much hugging, hand holding, and french-kissing that it was a little too much to bear with. Is it because I want a girlfriend oh so badly to fit in? Is it because I think this whole romance situation is utter crap and can wait for college? Honestly that answer can't be revealed yet, but when it does I hope it is as sweet and genuine as the relationship between Sam and Suzy, the two characters who are the prime focus of the new Wes Anderson movie 'Moonrise Kingdom.' The two kids are outcasts in their own ways, so on one miraculous day they encounter each other, and through that start up a plan to leave their terrible lives and run away together. At the same time, Sam's kind boy scout leader and his fellow obnoxious troop members, Suzy's crazy parents and younger brothers, and a bunch of other characters are all looking for these two kids before something terrible could happen.
Despite only have seen one other Wes Anderson film, ('Fantastic Mr. Fox') I was eagerly waiting to see this movie, due to its superb cast and the fact that it opened up the Cannes Film Festival this year. Just to my luck, 'Moonrise Kingdom' is exactly what I wanted it to be: sharply written, hilarious, and incredibly touching. What I wasn’t expecting from this film was for it to be so down to earth and so deep for a quirky Wes Anderson movie. In fact, this film in some ways is this year’s ‘Super 8’ when it comes to the coming of age relationship between the two kid leads of the film. ‘Moonrise’ could be a huge Oscar contender when Awards season comes in December. I honestly hope so, because this may possibly be my favorite movie to have come out so far this year.
It's pretty rare when the kid actors in a film are even better than top notch actors like Bruce Willis and Bill Murray in a film. Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward play Sam and Suzy, the two kids who are in love and want to spend the rest of their lives together, despite only being 12 year olds. Their chemistry and story in some ways makes the film a coming of age story. It's kind of like how last year's 'Super 8' was a coming of age story because of the relationship forming between the two lead kids Joe and Alice, as well as the entire group of kids spending their summer by making a low budget monster movie for a local festival. The kids in this movie are as good as many of the kid actors that are out there in this day and age. However these two stars have this sort of charm to them that puts them above any other child star working at the moment. It won't be Bruce Willis that people are talking about when the credits begin to roll: it will be these up and comers. That doesn't mean that the adult talent isn't great in here.
Bruce Willis probably has the biggest adult role in the film as the police officer assigned to look for the kids. He also has something going on with Bill Murray's wife, played by the great Frances McDormand, but the audience will find out about them as the film goes on. Willis is comedically great as well as somewhat deep at times, which makes him a great presence in the movie. Edward Norton has some great moments as the scout troop member looking for Sam. Ed Norton not only killed in his scenes, but was also accompanied by an entire scout troop who all hate Sam because he's different. That helped out quite a bit in several scenes.
Bill Murray and Frances McDormand have fantastic comedic elements in their characters playing the strict parents of Suzy. These crazy parents, along with their equally great three sons, make for some laugh out loud scenes throughout the film. As for the two smallest parts in the film acquired by Jason Schwartzman and Tilda Swinton, these actors have some great moments of comedy, as well as some great acting presented here. The entire cast is absolutely fantastic, and their characters, despite most not being kind people, are still likable to a certain degree.
Wes Anderson really knows how to create some great dialogue for his characters. Not only is the script, which he co-wrote with Roman Coppola, well written, but it also features some of the funniest and most touching bits to be put on the silver screen all year. The cast works perfectly with this world and embraces the Wes Anderson quirkiness that is featured in every single one of his movies. The story is unique, original, and a whiff of fresh air to be embraced in a summer of superheroes and sequels. Overall, I loved 'Moonrise Kingdom.' There was nothing I could find wrong in it at all.
It's weird when one can't find a single flaw in a film, but that's the truth for me. The movie is fast, fresh, sweet, and hilarious. It's not for everyone, of course. However if one is a fan of Anderson's style of filmmaking or just enjoys quirky movies in general, then there's no doubt in my right mind that they will hate this movie. If someone is looking for a different type of summer movie to check out in order to take a break from all of the remakes and superhero spectacles that are in theaters, then they might want to hop into Wes Anderson’s magical little boat and take a trip to 'Moonrise Kingdom.'
PREVIEWS YOU MAY SEE:
Hyde Park on Hudson
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
To Rome With Love
Seeking a Friend
for the End of the World