I’ve never been Wes Anderson’s biggest fan. I don’t avoid his films but I don’t scream with delight at the knowledge a new ones coming. After being recommended Moonrise Kingdom by a friend, I think I might endeavour to re-watch some of his older ones again. Some. Not The Darjeerling Limited though.
What I want to say about Moonrise Kingdom is that it’s Little Miss Sunshine directed by Tim Burton. But it’s not, and I don’t think that gives Anderson the credit he deserves. But this film is such a quirky tale, with such interesting and odd characters that I can’t quite help but draw the Burton connection.
The love story between two wayward young 12-year olds is the central plot of Anderson’s latest work, and the dry, dark humour that sparks between them is so strange, but somehow incredibly endearing. The two have a chemistry that isn’t really that sexual (thank christ) but they are 12, and they do think they’re in love. And they talk about the craziest things, and she reads him stories. Cute as hell. The problem is that they’ve run away to be together, and so the Police Captain, the Scout Leader and the girl’s parents (plus a thousand young scouts) are on the hunt for them.
I’ve gotta say that Anderson’s style is beautifully unique – the scene where the letters between the 12-year olds are read out is magically edited, and the camera work done with the narrator is sublime. With nowhere to really go on their island home, the kids roam the forest-y coastline, allowing Anderson to sweep the glorious landscapes (mountain-y, forest-y lake-y type things) that make you want to travel somewhere right now.
I also really need to mention the lightning strikes, because just. What? For something that really shocked me (lolllllll puns) and came out of the blue, looking back on it, it actually fit exactly into the weird-as-fuck story Anderson was telling.
Bruce Willis as the bachelor Police Captain having a fling with a married woman, and Khaki Scout Leader-slash-maths teacher Edward Norton are subtly brilliant as they hunt down the runaways, and Frances McDormand shouting at people through a megaphone will never ever NOT be funny. Oh my god.
Can’t say I’d watch Moonrise Kingdom again in a hurry, but I’m glad I’ve seen it. I think I’ll have to revisit the Tenenbaums soon.