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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: June 24: Moonrise Kingdom


June 24: Moonrise Kingdom

"A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out and find them."

I am a huge fan of Wes Anderson and every single one of his films. I especially love Rushmore, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and even the underrated The Darjeeling Limited. He has a very unique approach to his movies, painting them as almost live-action storybooks, with vibrant colors, beautiful sets, and characters that are a little too over-the-top for the real world. He is certainly an acquired taste and many may find his movies to be a little too odd, but each one is its own work of art, and Moonrise Kingdom is no exception. In fact, it's one of Anderson's strongest, most imaginative films. 

The story follows Sam and Suzy (newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward), two young lovers who decide they have had enough with their families and friends and decide to run away together. The only thing, however, is that they are situated on a 16 mile island and don't have the widest of spaces to run off to. The runaways cause quite the ruckus in the small island community and everyone, from the only police officer, Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis), to a dedicated, yet confused Khaki Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton), join in the search for the two secret lovers. And thus, Moonrise Kingdom plays out in glorious fashion, mixing romantic and comedic themes, while interlacing a somewhat violent manhunt, as though the runaways are fugitives eluding capture. The shakeup of themes leads to a rather unpredictable story and makes it all the more enjoyable. 

Can't mention a Wes Anderson movie without talking about the good music, which also creates one of the most unique end-credit experiences. 

I would highly recommend Moonrise Kingdom. I am very sad to see the film is in such limited release, as a wider audience should have access to this work of art. Moonrise Kingdom has incredible attention to detail and each shot is set up beautifully, with each set constructed with great care and precision, each item and background creating another layer to this imaginative love story. The cast is flawless, and; Anderson was able to get two terrific performances out of the two leads, who both show signs that they certainly have what it takes to make it in Hollywood. The movie also features Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman (two Anderson staples) as well as Frances McDormand, Harvey Keitel, and Tilda Swinton. Wes Anderson continues to make magic in his movies and I eagerly anticipate whatever he has for us next. Watch Moonrise Kingdom, you won't regret it.

The Good:
such attention to detail that you can watch the movie several times and still miss little aspects
The Better:
a great script that is in true Anderson form, blending romantic, funny, and even dark themes to create a vibrant, colorful world and cast of characters
The Best:
that very cast, with each actor fitting his/her perfectly and showing that Anderson really does get the best performances out of everyone he works with

Overall: 9.2/10


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At July 9, 2012 at 4:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Nick, great review. Thanks for sending me your way. I didn't know you were shooting for one review per day -- that's very impressive! Especially since you are writing quality material to boot. Congrats on making it to the halfway point! I will be following your progress.

At July 9, 2012 at 7:34 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Thank you! Yep, doing one movie every day. It's getting exhausting, but also more fun, if that makes sense. If you look back at some of my first reviews, they are God awful. So I'm glad I can at least see a change in my writing style through all of this.


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