Autumn 2012 Features series
Sunday, September 9, 2012 at 4:00pm
Sunday, September 9, 2012 at 7:00pm
Directed by Wes Anderson
Screenplay by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
Starring Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, and Bruce Willis
Rated PG ·
The seventh movie by director Wes Anderson (Rushmore, Fantastic Mr. Fox), Moonrise Kingdom is set on a fictitious island (New Penzance) off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965. It tells the story of two twelve-year-olds, Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward), who fall in love, make a secret pact and run away together into the wilderness.
As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore – and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in more ways than anyone can handle. Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray the young girl’s parents. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton (embodying “Social Services”) and Jason Schwartzman as cousin Ben.
“Moonrise Kingdom opens on the colorful knit portrait of a beachside manse, and there’s no better intro to this bright, bewitching island fable streaked with yellow. It’s an adventure, a love story, a biblical allegory complete with approaching storm, a mash note to composer Benjamin Britten and a profoundly touching discourse on the needs of troubled children.
“Two of them grab hold – of each other, and us – in Moonrise Kingdom, which follows 12-year-old misfits Sam and Suzy on their cross-island trek to freedom. Sam, a Scout in a snappy mustard kerchief, hauls around hiking gear for every contingency. Suzy brings binoculars, a portable record player and an assortment of library books. But mainly, they have each other. And as they tumble and fumble toward prepubescent love, what they’re actually reaching for is refuge from a social order that considers them dangerous and strange.” (Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle)
“As in all of Mr. Anderson’s films, the adult world does not come off well, though Bruce Willis’s police chief stands as an exception in this one, which the director wrote with Roman Coppola. The grown-ups are clueless about what to do when Sam and Suzy run away together and vanish into the wilderness while a monster storm gathers force. What’s clear to us wise old moviegoers, however, is that Sam, in his ridiculous coonskin cap, and Suzy, with her luggage and binoculars, are headed toward adolescence on a voyage of self-discovery, and that they love each other intensely, even though they’re not sure what comes next.” (Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal)
“Anderson knows he’s among the best composers of the camera frame the movies have ever had, and he’s having fun with that. The (Norman) Rockwell allusions with all the scouting scenes actually leave their reference points and stake out new territory, and that’s what’s exciting. Anderson no longer appears content solely with allusions. He knows they have to count for something since a lot of people won’t know what he’s referring to anyway.” (Wesley Morris, The Boston Globe)