Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Moonrise Kingdom (2012) - ★★★★

Director: Wes Anderson
Writers: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
Stars: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand

This is one of the nicest, most interesting films I've seen from 2012. It's an absurd movie, with a beautiful story and great acting. It's one of those films where you start watching it, and when it's finished you ask "where did the time go." It's not a really short movie, which is what makes it so incredible.

Troubled boy scout Sam (Jared Gilman) leaves his scout troop mysteriously, taking only the supplies necessary to survive in the wild. An even more troubled girl, Suzy (Kara Hayward), leaves with him. The two embark on a journey where they escape the lives that have damaged them, and grow to love each other. Meanwhile, Suzy's parents (Bill Murray, Frances McDormand), a local police officer (Bruce Willis), and the scoutmaster (Edward Norton), travel all over the island they live on to find them.

This film is the very definition of absurd. Every service and building has generic names, the post office is called post office and the police station is called police station. It distances the viewer from the surroundings and plunges them into the characters, whose personalities are intriguing. If you've ever seen the film Edward Scissorhands, the town there is full of generic colored houses and plain architecture. That is very much the same with Moonrise Kingdom, which is a film that distances itself from reality as it goes on.

The acting throughout is absolutely brilliant. I loved Gilman and Hayward's chemistry. They are an odd pair indeed, who at first seem like they have nothing in common. We then learn that what they do have in common is a past that has hurt them, which is where their friendship stems from. While the performances were very good, I could never fully connect with their characters, which made me lose interest at times.

What makes Moonrise Kingdom standout from most films is its brilliant supporting cast. Bill Murray and Edward Norton steal the show by being emotional, quirky and absurd. McDormand didn't really standout at all in this film, fading into the background of an absurd little island. Bruce Willis played Bruce Willis, which is nothing new. However, he had a very likeable character and played it well, which  I suppose is something.

One thing I can say about Moonrise Kingdom is that it is very artistic. Many scenes come across as a painting or a dream. It's also extremely unpredictable. For the life of me, I couldn't tell what these kids would get up to, or where the road would take them. It was a riveting experience in itself. So overall, I highly enjoyed Moonrise Kingdom. It's easily one of the best films of 2012.


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