Sunday, October 21, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

Directed by: Wes Anderson
Starring: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Billy Murray, Frances McDormand, Kara Hayward, Jared Gilman, Tilda Swinton & Bob Balaban
Released: 2012
Runtime: 97 minutes
Rating: 4.5/5

For me this was easily my most anticipated film for 2012; the film I absolutely must see at the cinema. For a while I thought I had missed it, but lucky my local cinema started playing a very limited amount of screenings last week. Better late than never I suppose; I guess they realised that it might actually be a good film that people would want to see instead of the usual mainstream of the mainstream.

Moonrise Kingdom is latest film by director and screenwriter Wes Anderson. Set in 1965 it’s the story of two young lovers; an unpopular boy scout name Sam (Jared Gilman) and a troubled girl named Suzy (Kara Hayward); who flee their New England town to start a new life together, which triggers a local search party of family members, local authorities and other peculiar members of the community to fan out and find them.

Well I almost didn’t see this fine picture, we the audience sat patiently in the dark of 60 seat cinema for about 20 minutes whilst the projector was being fixed. An usher apologised and we didn’t have to sit through the advertisements, it was straight to the feature.

This is one of the most delightful films I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s sweet, cute, funny and extremely quirky. And it looks beautiful; every frame is like a painting come to life. The often symmetrical cinematography is stunning and adds to the film’s quirkiness; which is enhanced even more by the film’s unique soundtrack. And it’s such an adorable story about the innocence of young love that’s told on both an adult and adolescent level. You really get an insightful view from both perspectives.  

The cast in this film is staggering, there’s Bruce Willis as the lone police officer, Edward Norton as chain smoking Scout Master Ward, counsellor husband and wife and parents to Suzy played by Bill Murray and Frances McDormand, and of course Kara Hayward, Jared Gilman as mentioned above; who are both very talented young actors, they give so much emotion and heart in their performances.  There are so many other terrific supporting characters, in particular Bob Balaban as the film’s narrator who is at his best with his trademark awkwardness.

Everything about Moonrise Kingdom works so well. Nothing is wasted, especially the actors. And it has such wide appeal; there were only around ten of us in the audience but I feel very confident in saying that everyone enjoyed it, there was a good vibe in the air and the film got quite a lot of laughs. Actually there was even a small applause, but that was for when the projector finally started running. I enjoyed it so much that I could easily watch it again right now. I’m so tempted to jump on and buy a copy on Blu-ray as I imagine a film like this would nothing short of stunning in HD. I think this is Anderson’s best film since Rushmore. Jiminy cricket, I love this movie! 

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