Moonrise Kingdom is Wes Anderson’s latest film. It’s his first after the abysmal Fantastic Mr. Fox and it’s a gigantic step in the right direction after that film.
Moonrise Kingdom is the story of 2 kid outcasts on this New England Island and it’s set in the mid 1960s. Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) is a Boy Scout who is disliked by his entire Boy Scout troop. He runs away with the Françoise Hardy loving Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) who he met a year earlier and planned their escape and start a budding romance. Obviously due to their age the whole island starts looking for them headed by Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) and Sam’s Scout Master Ward (Ed Norton).
The film reminded me of like a weird crossbred of Badlands and Youth in Revolt, which is certainly a good thing in my book. The scene where the 2 runaways are dancing on the beach to Françoise Hardy is clearly a homage to Badlands and the fact both of the kids are violent and also the whole fairy tale aspect has echoes of Badlands.
The cast is hands down probably the 2nd best cast Wes Anderson has ever assembled. Firstly the film reminds off just how good Bruce Willis can be when he is directed by a proper director like in 12 Monkeys or Pulp Fiction and has a wonderfully funny scene with him and Shadusky in his boat home. Ed Norton who’s career has certainly in decline in recent years is great as the useless but decent Scout Master. Bill Murray is well Bill Murray and that’s always wonderful to watch. It’s nice to see Harvey Keitel in something good again. Tilda Swinton is wonderful in her wicked turn as social services agent. However the 2 lead kids and especially Kara Hayward are actors watch out for in the future.
The film has a good anti-conformity message though out and the 2 kid characterd in the film are clearly gonna be punks like another 10 years. It actually cares about the kids in this film and is a film that kids will actually enjoy like the navel gazing of Fantastic Mr. Fox with all it’s jokes about existentialism, which will just pass by kids’ heads.
Moonrise Kingdom is a well return back to old Wes Anderson we all love of Life Aquatic and Rushmore fame and less of the pretentiousness of Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Darjeeling Limited. I’m still on the fence if it’s better than Rushmore but it’s certainly one to cherish for years to come.