Movie Review: Moonrise Kingdom

[media-credit name=”Courtesy of Focus Features” align=”alignleft” width=”202″][/media-credit]Question: Do you still have your inner child lingering around you, nudging and allowing you to let your imagination to soar? Most adults let go of their little selves because responsibilities and such push them out to make room to concentrate on real work. It’s a shame, really. Our inner child is what brought us to our place as an adult, hopefully. And when we get to adulthood we usually tell them to, “Go away; or grow up.” Why?  It’s when we have a chance to imagine, dream, and reach for what makes us happy that is the driving part of us, the best part of us, most of the time. And that’s our inner child talking to us, so why silence them?

I just saw Moonrise Kingdom and realized Wes Anderson’s inner child is alive and kicking! What a remarkable movie. My cheeks still hurt from smiling. I was just so content during the movie and parts really made me giggle. Of course there were a few scenes where I lost that smile but the story always had a way of bringing it back. Yes, all done on purpose. Overall, the film will give you a warm and fuzzy feeling: about first loves, being a child, asserting your desires and meeting those who will love you for who you are. Honestly, I want to stop writing this review right now and go see it again. It was that good (and inspiring).

Before I go on, I will say that I really enjoy Wes Anderson’s style of filmmaking. Rushmore is right up there in my top 25. Bottle Rocket, Royal Tenenbaums and now Moonrise Kingdom are brilliantly written films that just make me happy. They are quirky, witty and there is a level of innocence that surrounds the vision of these films, and that all has to do with Wes Anderson and how he approaches his films (stories).

Just like the submarine in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zizzou, Moonrise Kingdom used a similar technique with a house.  The camera’s point of view moved from room to room as if one wall was removed from the seaside home, and looked into each room, peeking in on what the occupants were doing. (I can so picture Wes Anderson playing with this life-size dollhouse and other mini three-dimensional dioramas now and when he was a child.) We meet a family, parented by Francis McDormand and Bill Murray and their four children. The time is the early 60’s and the fashion, home details and even the way the film appeared it was obvious as to the time frame.

[media-credit name=”Courtesy of Focus Features” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]I went into this film unaware of what it was about – as usual – except there were scouts in it and two kids, who were friends, I supposed. That’s all I knew. But as the story unfolded I discovered a wonderful, endearing and fantastical adventure. As I asked earlier about your inner child, Moonrise Kingdom translated a story through a child’s eye – or at least that is how I took it. From the lack of wild camera movement – it just stood there, frozen, letting the actors move – to the dialogue spoken by everyone, including the adults, rang with an air of certain innocence, lack of verbal filtering and naiveté of expressions and gestures.

Then there was the humor. It was pure, a reminder of how clumsy we all were as children: misunderstood, unhappy, seeking (searching) for something, or someone, to make you happy and feel like you were not a freak. Even the adults in Moonrise Kingdom, especially Ed Norton’s and Bruce Willis’ characters, craved to fit in, be admired and loved.

The genuine elements of the relationship between the two lead characters, Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward), made this a very entertaining and heartwarming story. Rarely are children this complex in film and as mesmerizing. It was pure enjoyment to watch these two 12 year-olds pursue their dreams and desire to be together. As I mentioned, it made me smile, a lot.

Moonrise Kingdom was a welcome distraction from the monotony of the outside, adult world we are all in right now. Lack of technology, the love of books, art, and knowledge of how to take care of oneself in the outdoors was very prevalent. Even the long forgotten act of pen pals, a system of communicating I used to thoroughly enjoy when I was a kid, had a part in this story. It brought me right back to my youth.

This film reminded me of my inner child, the young movie lover, and how grateful we are still in touch. Let your inner child in, speak with you, dance and play…Life’s too short not to. Enjoy yourselves!!

My favorite part: I can’t decide between Ed Norton’s and Bruce Willis’ character as my favorite. But seeing Bill Murray, shirtless, with a hatchet and a bottle of wine…well, I will let you see what that was all about…That part just had me in stitches. Also, the few lines Bill Murray had were priceless. I could go on and on….

My least favorite: Not one thing – Okay, the part about dog during the rescue but that doesn’t take away points of the overall review.

Directed (and co-written by) Wes Anderson, Indian Paintbrush, 2012

Starring: Jared Gilman,  Kara HaywardBruce WillisEdward NortonJason SchwartzmanTilda SwintonFrances McDormandHarvey KeitelBob Balaban and Bill Murray

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Rating: PG-13

Length: 94 minutes

Review: 10 out of 10

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Rating: 10.0/10 (4 votes cast)
Movie Review: Moonrise Kingdom, 10.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

About the Author:

Movie reviews that won’t spoil the story with the critique. Movies are my passion and I want to share my opinion on the movies I see to give you more insight on what to see next.

  • A lovely review full of heart. I love it. 🙂

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    • Thank you, Dani. Yes, this one truly made me smile and I had to share it. It’s a quirky film and I know some who don’t like Wes Anderson’s style so I am not sure everyone will love it as much as I did. However, there is no denying the happiness it should bring most 😉

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  • Katy, your usual wonderful review, with just enough and never too much information. I was reading the names of the other cast members and was surprised at some of them, but delighted as well. This one is definitely on my list of movies to see. Thank you, as always.

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    • Sweet Melody, thank you!! I am so glad you are going to see this film. With recent events and other negativity that’s going on in the world, this film is a perfect antidote for all that. Go to the theatre and smile -- it’s what movies are there for -- especially this one..:-D

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  • I have to see it! I have to seeeeeee it!! I loved your review and kept smiling as I read as I could feel how much you enjoyed this movie.

    Everyone should keep in touch with their inner child. Seriously. Life is way too serious on its own already. I admit my inner child went in hiding for a while, but she’s back and she’s staying by my side forever *echo* If you allow yourself to break free from what’s already created by others, you really can create your own happiness.

    LOVED this!! Xx *waves*

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    • So happy you understood how much I enjoyed this film. I hope everyone likes it as much as me.

      Thank you so much, TJ! 🙂

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