Moonrise Kingdom Screen 27 articles

Moonrise Kingdom


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  • One might say that Anderson's sweetly brittle tendencies as a stylist have met their textual match in the thin narrative of "Moonrise..." The love that Wes Anderson lavishes upon his films has never been more richly in evidence, but he remains, as ever, all love and, well, precious little passion.

  • What was gliding along is now stomping along, and there’s the itch to want to make it all stop, or at least, calm back down to what it was. It’s one thing to have Britten, in his classic Young People’s Guide to the Orchestra (used as a leitmotif here), adding on an instrument at a time until you have the fully rounded orchestra; it’s another to add on to something that’s already complete, as the early phases of Moonrise Kingdom are.

  • The unruly spirit of Fantastic Mr. Fox is replaced here with a mannerism rendered all the more obvious by the lack of a convincing narrative. In this innocuous Badlands for minors, where benevolence wins over rage and disenchantment, we watch children dressed like adults taking orders from adults dressed like children. And in doing so one may realize that it is perhaps this incapacity to put an end to eternal adolescence that brought us this bedtime story in the middle of a waking nightmare.

  • I remain unenchanted by Wes Anderson. When his admirers point to the soulfulness trembling behind his deadpan compositions, I mostly see a maniacally fastidious eye at the service of a self-consciously fey sensibility. Still, when the two 12-year-old runaways stood over a speared white pooch ("Was he a good dog?" "Who can say? But he didn’t deserve to die"), I felt the oddball intensity and was reminded of why it just won’t do to simply dismiss him as "cute" or "twee" anymore.

  • Anderson loves him some French films—especially Truffaut and Malle, if this tender, ragged riff on l’amour fou is any indication—and Cannes’s decision to open the festival with this particular movie makes sense from a programming perspective. They get to fill a red carpet with camera-friendly celebrities and champion someone who sticks to a doggedly personal vision, even if said vision sometimes seems like it's in danger of trapping its creator like a fossil in amber. Plus ça change…

  • An admittedly slighter, less thematically heavy film than some of Anderson’s best work—mainly Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and The Darjeeling Limited—Moonrise Kingdom instead opts for the simple, relatable pleasures of love at first blush and adolescent overdetermination.

  • Maybe Anderson’s live-action movies don’t work as well because he’s asking real actors to do the work of puppets — human beings can’t help buckling beneath the thunderous burden of his precocious, overrefined ideas. And that's Moonrise Kingdom in a tiny, mousebed nutshell: It's oddly ambitious and weightless, a movie made with great care and, probably, love, that still sounds hollow when you thump it.

  • His trademark whimsy is still there (the non sequiturs, the natty production design, the carefully curated soundtrack, and so on). But, crucially, this time around those elements actually tell us something about the characters and their environs, rather than just serving as evidence of Anderson's exquisite taste. The bric-a-brac feels charming, not heavy-handed.

  • A flashback to Sam and Suzy’s epistolary courtship, featuring snippets of each hand-printed letter (almost invariably cut off mid-sentence), establishes their ardor with giddy economy, freeing the two young actors playing them to inhabit that weirdly amorphous zone between friendship and desire in which preadolescent romance inevitably gets stuck. That there’s such a melancholic undercurrent only makes the film that much tangier and richer.

  • Moonrise Kingdom climaxes with a messy, prolonged setpiece of physical disaster, as a hurricane leads to flash flooding. Following the cider flood displacing the animals in Fantastic Mr. Fox and forcing them to relocate to the sewers, this is the second literal and symbolic Anderson storm. Messy, excessive and a little endless, it's a strong attempt to push the movie outside of the Wes Anderson box through an action sequence.

  • Is the fact that Sam gets struck by lightning (side note: is there actually such a 'thing' as a lightning field?) intended as a harbinger of the electo shock therapy he might receive if caught by Social Services? Enjoyed the bittersweet shades to Ed Norton's character more on second go, particularly his spoken diary recordings and the nik-naks in his Tenenbaum tent.

  • Moonrise Kingdom has a spontaneity and yearning that lend an easy comic rhythm, as when Sam reaches out to touch the trunk of child dressed like an elephant, or a girl in a chicken costume is glimpsed brushing her teeth. The film is almost unfailingly funny, but it also has a rapt quality, as if we are viewing the events through Suzy’s binoculars or reading the story under the covers by a flashlight.

  • Anderson, it seems, has finally and thoroughly gone up his own ass—and yet the film happens to be one of his best and most inviting works. Moonrise Kingdom—deftly orchestrated but deliberately uncomplicated—is easily Anderson's sweetest, most sincere movie, and the only one, aside from Rushmore, where the director's stylistic and thematic conceits are perfectly in sync.

  • It seems relevant at this point to state that every Wes Anderson film I have seen deepens with the second viewing, like a memory upon reflection, and just so do Sam and Suzy, strong characters growing into personalities peeking around the edges of learned roles and affectations, seem to be living a romance whose full intensity they will experience only in retrospect.

  • As always, Anderson expresses himself concisely: At 94 minutes, Moonrise Kingdom is dense in minute visual detail, hilarious deadpan jokes, and small moments that are rich in complexity.

  • Emotionally, it’s astonishingly romantic (though I’d argue that this is true of all of his films); it runs on the same sense of daring and adventure that has motivated him throughout his career; and it’s got the same surprising blend of rarefied control and documentary challenge that his other films present. Yet this movie, his seventh, is really different—as great as his first six films are, “Moonrise Kingdom” is a leap ahead, artistically and personally.

  • If [The Life Aquatic] saw Anderson stretch his sensibility to epic proportions (and to mixed results), Moonrise Kingdom brings a more intimate and handmade experience. Anderson here shows a greater degree of spontaneity, mirroring the resourcefulness of the couple on the run. Not that he’s shaken off his famous fastidiousness. Moonrise Kingdom brims with the kind of detail that has become Anderson’s calling card.

  • A kinder, gentler, altogether more soulful “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse,” Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” is a triumph of marionette show mise-en-scène and a paean to precocious puppy love. Returning to the pre-adolescent world of “Rushmore” with the wisdom gained from his puppet animation “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” Anderson has made his least self-regarding, most engaging (live action) film in more than a decade.

  • Written by Mr. Anderson and Roman Coppola (they worked together several times before), “Moonrise Kingdom” breezes along with a beautifully coordinated admixture of droll humor, deadpan and slapstick. Like all of Mr. Anderson’s films, though, there’s a deep, pervasive melancholia here too.

  • When, oh when, would Anderson combine his aesthetic obsessions (the francophilia, the Americana, the prep-schoolery), with his natural wit and the heart you assume he had? I love the meticulous diorama framing and the hoisting, pivoting, dumbwaitered, nearly hydraulic camerawork. I would even tolerate the dollhouse framing. I just didn’t want the dolls. I wanted Anderson to show me a soul. “Moonrise Kingdom” does that.

  • Anderson, for his part, relies on art to give what was dying its old life back. Not content to memorialize, he resurrects. He takes up his camera as a benevolent magician might take up a wand to make a vanished dove re-appear, and in one elegant fade, Moonrise Kingdom exists once more.

  • Moonrise Kingdom is nostalgic without being precious, forward-looking without being presumptuous; it's as much about the fantasies of the director's own childhood as it is about his uncertainty of what happens after that first rush of true love, and how the perils of adulthood can change such an emotion.

  • Moonrise Kingdom is a film that takes many aspects of Anderson's cinema that had been latent or even (to me) twee window-dressing and brings them front and center, not only formally but thematically and emotionally.

  • I misjudged this film. I misjudged its gravitas, its melancholy and its unexpected violence. It's not the pastry-chef confection I thought it was on 1st viewing. Sorry, film.

  • Moonrise Kingdom illuminates its director’s conflicted attraction toward... the classical “comedy of love” that, according to scholar G. Beiner, encompasses “courtship, marriage, friendship, family reunion, and . . . a return to a reconstituted civilized order”... Such comedy inevitably relies on a “temporary but extreme departure from everyday constraints,” but as with the return of the runaways in Moonrise Kingdom, it binds its escapees back into twisted knots of communal ties.

  • Moonrise Kingdom (2012) is an adventure movie in the true sense. It breathes an air of freedom and curiosity and what can only be called elation as it charts the flight of a pair of young runaways just emerging from childhood. They prove fitting heroes, figures not so much of bewildered innocence as of awakening brilliance and ferocious clarity of intention.

  • That's what Moonrise Kingdom abundantly offers: nesting love stories that chafe against one another, sparking inadvertent resentment, disillusionment, and, occasionally, the sort of unions and reunions that allow one to believe that anything's possible.

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