Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

I have a confession to make: I’m not a big Wes Anderson fan. Out of all the movies I’ve seen of his there are only two which I enjoyed, which were Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Darjeeling Limited. In general I just can’t connect with all the weird characters which appear in his movies. So I really wasn’t rushing out to see Moonrise Kingdom, but as it has been getting rave reviews I had to find out if this was the third movie I’d like or if I’d better give up on watching his movies.

The story is about one of the most classic subjects in the history of movies, love. It’s about two lovers who decide to get away from society and social pressure and just enjoy the time they have with each other. What’s different about Moonrise Kingdom though is that Suzy (Kara Hayward) and Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) are in their early teens. Both have troubled relationships with the people around them and want to get away from it all. They do so without telling anyone and since they live on an island it doesn’t take long before a search party is started to find them.

The movie is filled with a lot of great performances of well-known actors including Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis and Tilda Swinton, but this movie is all about the kids and their first experience with love, camping and telling each other stories about each other.

I really enjoyed this movie. It’s got that typical Anderson look, but it really works perfectly. I was a big fan of a small sequence in which the two “lovers” write each other letters, which was perfectly edited. The two read these letters, but you never hear the complete letters, but the words you hear give enough information to understand what kind of information the two are sharing. I was not expecting much from this movie, but ended up loving it. It’s a great depiction of first love and the purity of the feelings one might have.

27 thoughts on “Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

  1. It’s such a relief to know I’m not the only person who isn’t a Wes Anderson fan! I couldn’t even sit through Royal Tenenbaums, and I haven’t bothered trying Darjeeling Limited yet. This film is not on my immediate priorities list.

  2. I really liked this too, and like you I have not really connected that strongly with Wes Anderson films in the past. But this is done with such care, and as far as tales of young love go, it is a cracker.

  3. I really loved this movie. There was just something more intimate and heartfelt about Anderson’s direction here, that’s sort of been missing in the past couple of years. Good review.

    • Nicely put, that was indeed the case for me as well. In the earlier movies just felt weird for the sake of being weird it seemed, here they somehow seemed more real (although some of them still were strange like “Social Services”

    • Happy to hear that Eric. Seems there are quite a few others who are not huge fans of his work, which surprises me. Thought I was one of the few who didn’t 😉

  4. Moonrise Kingdom was a nice surprise, to me his best film to date. I think the quirkiness fits with the material, which in the past I don’t always think has been the case for the director, was somehow too forced.
    Happy to read you enjoyed it. Wes Anderson should do more movies like this about kids or awkward teenagers!

  5. Over the years Wes Anderson has been one of my favorite director and i loved this movie also but it still is not as good as movies such as Rushmore, The Royal tennenbaums or Fantastic Mr.Fox but still good none the less.

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