There's no real criticism for such a film. From start to finish, you can't help but watch the eccentric cast of characters evolve and unfold in often unexpectedly charming ways. There was an explored sense of subtle nostalgia that was utterly mesmerizing. From the old house, to the toy record player, to the quaint "khaki scouts" with mini canoes and adorable pitch tents--one almost felt as though the cast were at play--part lost-boy adventure, part found-girl advent. Delightful. Once again.
Kara Hayward (Suzy Bishop) seen in the insert with co-star, Jared Gilman (Sam Shakusky), is stunning. Beyond the surface, like Suzy, Kara has a deep intelligence often frustrated by social gender expectations. She has written and published poetry; she is also a member of the genius organization, Mensa. From the wealthy Andover, Massachusetts, first settled in 1642, the bewitching Hayward never acted professionally prior to landing the role in Moonrise. And neither had her diligent co-star, Gilman.
Gilman, a New Jersey native, recently had his Bar Mitzvah; Gilman and Hayward were so convincing because both were about age 12 during filming. One fan put it best, "I wish my life were a movie directed by Wes Anderson." So do I.
Anderson perfectly captures the complexities of girl-life; if you're at all intelligent and creative, you'll be seen as a problem. And though young men are given leave to express anger physically, when a young lady does the same, she's often considered "troubled." The theme of the film was about exactly that. Being troubled. Or, "emotionally disturbed" as Sam was classified by Social Services, played exceptionally well by the incomparable Tilda Swinton.
Robert Yeoman is one of my very favorite cinematographers; not only has he worked with Anderson on almost all of his live-action films, he has also portrayed in perfect pictures films like Martian Child with John Cusak, Whip It with Ellen Paige and the acclaimed Bridesmaids with Kristin Wiig and Maya Rudolph. Moments like when Laura (Frances McDormand) and Walt (Bill Murray--an Anderson alum) talk in bed are realistically expressed through shots of the ceiling light fixture in the night-filled room. Realism. So magical through Anderson's eyes.
Anderson co-wrote the script with Roman Coppola; yes, son of THAT Coppola. The film is filled with famous faces like Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel, Jason Schwartzman, and Bob Balaban, who plays the best neurotic I've ever seen. You know and love Balaban from movies like A Mighty Wind and Best in Show.
A very DELIGHTFUL 10/10 on the Housel-scale for this mid-summer charmer. Moonrise Kingdom premiered at Cannes in May, set for a limited release in the States; yet Moonrise finds its independently funded $17,000,000-budget rewarded with both critical and audience acclaim nearly two months later to the tune of just under $50,000,000.
Anderson, take me to your leader! I'm ready to board the Mother-ship....