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One Movie Punch

Mar 9, 2018

Today’s movie is “Moonrise Kingdom” (2012), directed by Wes Anderson and written in collaboration with Roman Coppola. The film follows Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) and Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward), two star-crossed, twelve-year-olds who decide to run away from their home on New Penzance Island in September 1965, and the antics surrounding their rescue.

Wes Anderson has one of those aesthetics that people either love or hate. I have been a fan of his style since seeing “The Royal Tenenbaums” in the theaters, probably my first introduction to a director with a specific style. I haven’t loved everything he’s been involved with, but I maintain that anyone should be able to appreciate it. And he’s been lucky enough to find critical and commercial success in the process.

With that success comes access to great talent, and “Moonrise Kingdom” has an amazing cast outside of the central tween relationship. Long-time collaborator Bill Murray plays Suzy’s father, along with a smaller role for Jason Schwartzman as Cousin Ben. Frances McDormand plays Suzy’s mother, who is having an affair with Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis). Tilda Swinton plays a social services representative. And cigarette smoking Scout Master Randy Ward is played by Edward Norton. Each gets their moment to shine without taking too much away from the main story.

The story for the film is deceptively simple, and that plays out in the entire aesthetic, from the generalized names for the various locations, to the complimentary costumes, to the handmade sets with incredible details and scope, making possible some amazing long shots. Everything oozes nostalgia, making this film feel like someone remembering their childhood from long ago.

“Moonrise Kingdom” is a deeply nostalgic, fantastically designed dramedy that could only come from Wes Anderson’s mind, which also means folks will either love it or hate it. I ended up liking it and appreciating its vision and execution, and now I’m looking forward to Anderson and Coppola’s upcoming collaboration “Isle of Dogs”. If you like Wes Anderson, or quirky independent cinema, then this film is for you.

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% (CERTIFIED)

Metacritic: 84

One Movie Punch: 8.6/10

“Moonrise Kingdom” (2012) is rated PG-13 and is currently streaming on Netflix.