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Moonrise Kingdom

Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman in Moonrise Kingdom

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In Wes Anderson’s incredibly arch Moonrise Kingdom, dorky and awkward Sam (Jared Gilman) runs away from his Khaki Scout summer camp to go on an adventure with a girl named Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward). She is as off as Sam, but while Sam is nerdy and odd, Suzy is angry and depressive. Her parents Laura and Walt (Frances McDormand and Bill Murray) are distraught, while Sam’s Scout leader (Ed Norton) and the local sheriff (Bruce Willis) are determined.

In Moonrise Kingdom both humor and pain, and irony and sincerity exist side-by-side. The result is a profoundly entertaining and also profound film that matches and perhaps surpasses Wes Anderson’s best achievements, which include the minor classics Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Anderson’s direction of his and Roman Coppola’s ingenious, intricately plotted script is a marvel. There are some scenes that are so beautifully set that the still images of them could alone be hung on the walls of a museum.

Every prop, each bit of blocking, and all of the art direction is carefully and specifically stylized, inspired, it seems, by vintage Boys Life and Norman Rockwell paintings.

I want to go see the film again just to gawk at the smart animal costumes for a Noah’s Ark church pageant; or at the Scouts’ campground; the Bishop’s house floorplan and Captain Sharp’s trailer. And I want to catch more of Sam’s dorky witticisms, which not surprisingly made Suzy fall in love.

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Posted by on Oct 11, 2012. Filed under DVD of the Week. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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