Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Movie with Abe: Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom
Directed by Wes Anderson
Released May 25, 2012 / DVD October 16, 2012

With just six feature films under his belt, Wes Anderson has established himself as a cinematic auteur enormously capable of telling lively stories. “Moonrise Kingdom” is his most awe-inspiring, colorful saga yet, charmingly chronicling the budding romance between two twelve-year-olds unhappy with the state of their lives and inspired to run away into the wilderness together. This marvelous ensemble piece is hypnotically crafted, enlisting talented child and adult actors, a majestic score, and a truly fantastic screenplay to tell a lovely, unique story of young love and the unpredictably of life.

At the center of “Moonrise Kingdom” are two enormously impressive young talents, Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward. In their debut film roles, Gilman and Hayward capture the awkwardness of being an unpopular teenager, complete with an adventurous spirit and an excessively mature outlook on life. Though the adult actors receive top billing, Gilman and Hayward deserve commendation for endearing portrayals of societal outcasts wrapped up in their own imaginations, perfectly suited for existence in an Anderson-created universe. Their swiftly-recounted exchange of letters is a fantastic example of their rapport and their offbeat chemistry.

Among the adult cast, Anderson positions two of his regular players, Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman, in supporting roles befitting of their demeanors and mannerisms. Anderson also uses to great effect four well-known actors, all of whom are permitted to bring their signature energy to their characters. Edward Norton is the loyal scout master, Bruce Willis the committed police captain, Frances McDormand the detached mother, and Tilda Swinton the emotionless Social Services agent. Bob Balaban has a terrific part as the film’s narrator, who frequently steps in front of the camera to offer commentary about its setting. Every actor in the cast blends seamlessly into the magical universe of “Moonrise Kingdom.”

Much of the action in the film is set to Alexandre Desplat’s gloriously bouncy and inventive score, which enhances its events and imbues them with a greater sense of drama and purpose. Each shot is deliberate, emphasizing colors, costumes, and backgrounds. It’s easy to get swept up in the grandeur of the way that “Moonrise Kingdom” unravels its story, giving enormous weight to the wills and minds of two children and allowing their energy to guide the film. It’s a glorious and completely wondrous adventure, uninhibited by societal or cinematic norms, intoxicating in its magnificent use of every component to make up a wonderful film.


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