Moonrise Kingdom

If you just look at a movie in terms of set design, costumes, visual style, this movie is really fine. It is a wealth of creativity and visual wonder.
This is the story of Sam ( Jared Gilman ), a precocious boy at Camp Ivanhoe on an island off the coast of New England, in 1965.
Sam resigns from The Khaki Scouts and runs away. He meets Suzy, a local, who doesn’t quite fit in either. They plan on making their own world to live in, at age 12. The Grownups of course interfere with their plans.
If this were a Charlie Brown movie, all the Grownups’ voices would be represented by muted trombones instead of actual human voices. This movie is meant to be inside the 12-year-old’s world, and everything outside is foreign and stilted.
Jared Gilman, as Sam, is an intelligent actor on the cusp between child and adult, and he plays his difficult part beautifully. Kara Hayward however, as Sam’s best friend Suzy, uses the ” no affect ” method to read her lines: In place of acting technique, she resorts to a monotone. This is I suppose meant to be perceived as ironic and therefore clever by the viewer. I suspect the actress didn’t have the acting chops to play her role more deeply. I’m not harping on this, as the actress hasn’ t had the chance to grow up or study acting much I’ll wager.
Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton, on the otherhand – heavyweight acting talents-are asked to deliver muted colorless characters in this movie and that’s where this movie starts to disappoint. Edward Norton is given a little more room to breathe life into his role as the scoutmaster, thank God.
Ultimately, this is a fairly plain movie that runs out of steam.
Still, director Wes Anderson tried to hide that fact, as long as possible.

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1 Comment

  1. Thumbs up, Mr Critic Man, a very perceptive and intelligent review.

    Merry Christmas! Joy to the world!

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