Monday, June 11, 2012

...and thoughts on Moonrise Kingdom

So praised for so long, there's actually been a bit of a Wes Anderson backlash of late - with 'detached' starting to be considered 'cold', and his last film, the stop-motion Fantastic Mr Fox, seen as too clever by half; of more interest to adults than kids.

But Moonrise Kingdom has actually melted a few critics' frosty hearts - I know, a Wes Anderson movie - and having watched it in a pleasingly packed screening this Sunday, I can see why. It's just gorgeous. 

On a New England island about to be battered by shoreline-shifting storms, two misfit kids run away together to have a swallows and amazons adventure far away from bullying Scouts and disinterested parents. Good start.

It looks, as you'd expect, beautiful - the attention to detail in everything from the rugged landscape, to the dolls-house style buildings and Scout Master Ward's (Edward Norton) pristine uniform is just a joy to pore over. But this movie has heart too, and more than that, it even goes a bit Goonies, a bit Addams Family Values summer camp by the time we get to the final third; the formerly warring kids uniting against the adults to evade re-capture. 

Most the warmth comes from the two young leads - Kara Haywood and Jared Gilman - both newcomers, and both really lovely, really watchable actors. There's certainly shades of Son of Rambow about their commitment to independence and imagination (a very good thing indeed) and the way their relationship is portrayed is sweet but never patronising. 

It's testament to Bruce Willis and Ed Norton too, that in a film that also stars Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton, it's very much the former pair that you're hoping to see more of.

I probably don't need to put it in so many words, but I ruddy loved it. Stunning to look at, genuinely funny, genuinely odd and full of great performances.  

1 comment:

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

I too loved MK with a fearsome passion. I'll definitely be watching it again once released for home consumption.