Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Terra Incognita

Focus Films

Moonrise Kingdom
A film by Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson's films are, in spite of all the strong design elements and quirky characterizations, an examination of the mysterious emotional underpinnings of human behavior. When he turns his attention to that most mysterious and emotional of all behavior, adolescence, the result is the awkward, funny and haunting Moonrise Kingdom. The story revolves around two twelve year-old "troubled" children, Suzy and Sam (Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman), and the reactions of their parents and authorities when the kids run away to seek a better life with each other.

It starts out slowly, the dialog of the children is stilted, even mumbled at times. Scenes have random moments of strangeness. But about halfway through it all starts to click, and the very gentle magic of the film grows. The adult cast is stellar— it's almost an embarrassment of riches: Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Harvey Keitel and, of course, Jason Schwartzman. But the story is about the kids, and the performances by Gilman and Hayward are artless yet perfect. If you can enjoy a movie that takes its time to develop and you can appreciate subtle and bittersweet humor, this might be the summer "adventure" film for you. You won't need a map either, if you follow your heart.

By Professor Batty


Blogger oroboros said...

I found it UTTERLY charming. Should be seen paired with The Exotic Marigold Hotel; together they bookend the range of human age groups and their unique issues.

Blogger Professor Batty said...

Charming, but more than a bit sad.

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