There is nothing I love more than a good love story, especially one saturated in Wes Anderson’s signature style, and Moonrise Kingdom did not disappoint. Much like Anderson’s other movies, he instills that retro-cool look that will make you feel both nostalgic and unexplainably content, in a way that serves as a reminder: Nobody can pull off Wes Anderson, but Wes Anderson.
A romantic dramedy of sorts, Moonrise Kingdom is set during the year 1965 on a New England island and follows the romance of two star-crossed 12 year-olds, Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) and Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman). The two bond over their outside statuses—Suzy, as the anger-prone black sheep of her family, and Sam, an orphan whose quirky behaviors have not gone over well with various foster parents—and over a one year time span formulate a plan to run away together. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but you can expect a narrative plotline that only Wes Anderson (along with Roman Coppola) could dream up.
Bill Murray and Frances McDormand play Suzy’s lawyer-parents; Edward Norton plays Scout Master Ward, the Khaki Scout troop leader for Sam’s troop on the island; and Bruce Willis stars as the town’s sheriff with a good heart. Tilda Swinson, Harvey Keitel, and Jason Schwartzman (who always has a way of stealing my heart) all are featured as well in lesser roles.
It’s worth mentioning the music Anderson uses throughout the film, most notably the use of Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra and Hank Williams tracks. The soundtrack choices fit in remarkably well with each scene.
Of course, I had to include a million pictures, because words cannot describe the detailing Anderson puts into each scene. There’s no doubt in my mind I’ll be seeing this movie in the theatre again, there is simply no way to take in all the majestic, dynamic Anderson characterizations in only one viewing. Go see it now.