Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Moonrise Kingdom

Wes Anderson's movies are so meticulously created, on a visual level, that sometimes live action actors feel almost out of place in his frame, to me. It's one of the reasons his The Fantastic Mr. Fox was such a good movie, because he didn't have actors bringing their warmth and humanity onto the screen with anything but their voices. Strangely, it is the warmth and humanity brought to this movie by the two young leads, at the time 13-year-old's Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, that make this movie so successful. That's not to say the all-star cast (Bruce Willis, Ed Norton, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel, Jason Schwartzman) don't also bring their A-game and add to the proceedings, but it's the kids who really make it work.

The story concerns Sam and Suzy, who run away together on a tiny island in New England somewhere in 1965. They've met over previous summers and now decide they can make it on their own as long as they have each other. Both are "problem children", he's an orphan, she's got anger issues, and are both outcasts who find solace in the other. It's an awkward and sweet and surprisingly frank look at just barely pubescent love. Anderson's stilted and peculiar dialog just seems right coming out of these kids mouths. The adults go looking for them and blah blah blah, it's a simple love story, told wonderfully. I love that Anderson continues to not make long movies, as seemingly everything coming from major filmmakers these days has a 2+ hour runtime, while Anderson keeps it here hovering around 90 minutes.

Like all of Anderson's movies, it's a visual marvel, no matter how unrealistic it is. Anderson doesn't care about realism in his world creation, so why should we? Just be happy he's given us these pretty pictures to look at, competent adult actors and wonderful child actors to add in the mix and off we go to happy land.

No comments: