Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom’May 18th, 2012 | By Budd | Category: Entertainment
I’ve been made aware that many Avant Greensboro readers are Wes Anderson fans, eagerly awaiting the May 25 release of Moonrise Kingdom. Fresh from Cannes, I’m pleased to report that Moonrise Kingdom’s opening scenes are classic Wes Anderson. It’s a forthright continuation and, what’s more, intensification of the rigorous aesthetic preoccupations and occasionally precious thematic concerns that have long marked Anderson’s films. Another Anderson pillar, period detail, is never less than faultless.
Set in 1965 with a looming natural catastrophe on the horizon (told to us by narrator Bob Balaban), Moonrise Kingdom is a preteen love story (another Anderson hallmark: adolescent precocity) centered on fugitive Khaki Scout Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) and fantasy novel enthusiast Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward). Its first half chronicles the young lovers on the run and the adults tracking them down, including Bill Murray. Other faces new to Anderson films like Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel, Edward Norton round out the film as well as the familiar Anderson mainstay Jason Schwartzman.
Visual and sonic textures are mesmerizing, shot compositions and motivated camerawork by Robert Yeoman makes scenes such as the woodland chase seem effortless. The second half details rescue operations, emotional as well as literal, on the part of the chastened, hence, wiser adults. Mood and morale darken, and Anderson uses Hank Williams tunes brilliantly. Moonrise Kingdom’s conclusion brings to mind the Coen Brother’s O Brother, Where Art Thou?, another programmatic, yet affectionate homage to times past and present. Read my full review here: www.slantmagazine.com/house/2012/05/cannes-film-festival-2012-moonrise-kingdom/
Budd Wilkins is Staff Critic for Slant Magazine, a film scholar and instructor based in Greensboro. He is currently covering the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival in France.