Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)

A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out and find them.

Just like Quentin Tarantino’s films, Wes Anderson’s cinema and universe is one that connects with me in a way that few other filmmakers can do. Possibly Martin Scorsese, Akira Kurosawa, François Truffaut, and Stanley Kubrick made films that I could easily relate to and get into with only the opening credits. Wes’ films are like a visual feast for a cinephile’s eyes. Just like the films of let’s say Max Ophüls, Anderson plays on the widescreen framing of his epic filmmaking and storytelling. This other coming of age story, that could easily be a bore if handle by anyone else, is quite unique and very quirky in its presentation. 

Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) are two twelve years old who felt in love at first sight. They kept writing to each other during a year and they planned to escape together from their frustrating lives as children and soon to be teenagers. They deal with more than simple problems of regular kids and they are both excluded from their peers. Sam lost his parents and his foster home doesn’t want him back and Suzy doesn’t like her family. While the two are on the run, Suzy’s parents (Frances McDormand and Bill Murray), the rest of the boy scouts (Edward Norton and kids), and the Island policeman (Bruce Willis) get together to search the Island and find them. This opens to many Wes Anderson moments and his characteristic quirky cinematography.

It is more than obvious that Anderson’s films are set in the Anderson world. Nothing can really happen like this and the kids are probably too young to really think those lines or to even feel those feelings that are related to adults. Just like every Wes Anderson movie out there we have dorks that are somewhat despicable and lovable at the same time. However, the feelings are true and we kind of feel for the two young lovers. The situations and the mise en scène are off beat and it is one of the aspects of Anderson’s charms. It is also the humor and the naïve approach that we get or not get.

If, like me, a cinephile likes Wes Anderson’s films he will have a blast at the viewing of Moonrise Kingdom. Otherwise, the naysayers of his films that brag about his quirkiness, his Jean-Luc Godard/French films obsessions, and his regular actors like Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman, etc. might get on their nerves. On the other hand, Anderson and screenwriter Roman Coppola have finally brought a story that doesn’t involve a shadowed son that needs to prove to his father his difference and his qualities. It is not as great as The Royal Tenenbaums, my favourite Wes Anderson movie, but another one of his very good films.


  1. Right now, Moonrise Kingdom is my number three movie of 2012. I've got some of the Oscar type movies to see, though. I would also rate it as my favorite Anderson movie.

    1. I'm glad you liked it a lot too! On my list of 2012 it might be number 2 right now! With the time I kind of love it ever more than after watching it. I still like Royal Tenenbaums better.


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