Posted by: greercn | May 31, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

Wow. Just wow. This is an absolute gem of a  movie  and has one of the best stories I have seen in ages. It is whimsical and thoroughly original.

Two oddball 12-year-olds fall in love and totally upstage an all-star cast as they do so. Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward are both young stars and people to watch out for, in the future. They avoid being either cloying or cute.

There is so much here that is of the outsider posing a threat to a community and to its damaged and lonely adults. Our two young leads -Sam and Suzy – completely dazzle us. Suzy gets angry a lot and Sam is intense and bullied.

With Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton – not to mention Bob Balaban, Jason Schwartzman and my beloved Harvey Keitel playing the grown-ups, they ought to be hard to upstage, right?

This flick belongs to the kids. Adults are irrelevant, except in how they protect the kids and develop the plot.

Against the background of an isolated Scout camp, a Romeo and Juliet story plays out, with many twists.

You won’t see a more charming  film this year.  The kids run away and the adults and the whole Scout group follow. As the setting is an isolated island, in 1965, no trace of technology troubles this, other than the occasional telephone and record player.

Wes Anderson does a magnificent job in directing  this quirky tale and restraining much that could have been outrageous and annoying, but never is. Alexandre Desplats lifts the music to a higher place. There’s a quirky use of Benjamin Britten and the Noah’s Ark story that leads to a real flood. The Rhode Island settings are very beautiful.

Does the orange fizzy drink Tang still exist or has it been consigned to the place of historic artefact? If this was product placement, it was useful in setting the time and place.

Lots of movies and TV seem to be using the mid to late 1960s as a simpler time than now. “Men In Black 3” uses the moon landing of 1969 and there has been a surge of films that tell of the British class changes, civil rights in the USA and the space programme.

I am not convinced by the idea that those were simpler or better times. But, hey, that’s probably just me.

The Notting Hill Gate Picturehouse audience adored it and were all very positive about “Moonrise Kingdom”. The seats and environment are all very beautiful and I enjoyed excellent coffee and yummy chocolate ice cream.

I will be thinking about many of the beautiful images, lines and melodies in this for some time to come. It got under my skin, in an amazingly positive way. Wow. Just wow.



  1. This is another film on my to-see list! I nearly saw it last night but watched “2 days in New York” instead, which I recommend as an entertaining clash-of cultures/family flick.

    • Forgot to add – Tang is still in existence, according to Wikipedia, which says that the brand is now owned by Kraft Foods.

    • Thanks, David. I can’t believe Tang still exists. Not sure if that’s good or bad. “2 Days” is on my list as I enjoyed the last one so thanks for the thumbs up as I was wondering if it had the same charm as the other one.

      • I’ve no idea if it does have the same charm as I never saw it’s predecessor, but I enjoyed this enough that I’m inclined to find a copy to watch and find out.

      • I’ve seen it in in shops here in England and it wasn’t expensive. I may just wait now and get the inevitable “Two Days” boxed set, when the DVDs comes out for the new one.

  2. Nice spoiler free review 🙂 I loves me some Wes Anderson. Sadly unless I drive two hours to LA I have to wait another week to check this out. The anticipation is killing me.

    • Thank you for the kind comment! Usually, movies get released all across the USA first but occasionally, we get to see them first, here in England. It’s a great movie and worth waiting for!

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