Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Dir. Wes Anderson
PG 13 / 1h 34m / Adventure, Drama
I love you but you don’t know what you’re talking about.
Moonrise Kingdom is my second favorite Wes Anderson film and one of my favorite stories to date. It is important to note in the beginning that I am a huge fan of Anderson and his filming style: his commitment to color palettes and straight lines and perfect framing swoon me. His subject matters are playful but poignant and we have purchased every single one.
Moonrise is not one of his critically acclaimed works, which often confounds me, but 2012 was the year of The Artist, The Help, Harry Potter 7.2, The Iron Lady, and Hugo. It had a lot of competition! Nevertheless, it is an important installment to the Anderson line up, and an important piece overall.
There is a childish innocence through the entire duration. We see Suzy succumb to the aggression of a protective father as we see Sam excel in wilderness training – when we finally see them together, discovering love and their bodies, its in a way that is relatable and almost reminiscent. It’s a special melting pot of what it is to grow up – presented in a way that is pleasing to the eye and sweet for the soul. In his fashion, Anderson doesn’t leave out the troubled family (or dead dog – doesthedogdie.com frequenters beware), another aspect in which viewers can relate by personal experience on either end – being the parents or being the kid.
Your girlfriend stabbed me in the back with lefty scissors.
She’s my wife now.
An amazing aspect to this film is the juxtaposition of children taking on adult things. Sam protects Suzy like a doting husband would – even before they “marry” – and Suzy partakes in wifely duties like bringing extra batteries and takes responsibility over their entertainment from the start. The two work together, it’s awkward, it’s new. It’s everything relationships are in the real world, less the puberty.
Big names signed on for this: the usual Bill Murray made his appearance as Suzy’s dad, Bruce Willis donning a police uniform and a bachelor’s pad, Edward Norton as math-teacher-turned-scout-leader, Jason Schwartzman as another scout leader across the way, and Tilda Swinton the emotionless government employee. This is the first Anderson film Owen Wilson didn’t participate in, and honestly, it’s really okay.
Moonrise Kingdom is a film that belongs in your household, if not for the laughs, for the memories of childhood and awkward growing pains past.