Saturday, June 23, 2012

Precious And Few (Film Review: Moonride Kingdom)

I am at a loss as to how to describe Wes Anderson's newest movie, "Moonrise Kingdom." Twee? Precious? Fantasy-like? While those are adjectives that can describe  his latest movie, they just scratch the surface. But before anything else, let me just state on record that I am not the biggest fan of Mr. Anderson's movies. In fact, I stopped trying to "understand" them.  At this point, I admire them more, because they obviously touch a lot of people, based on his loyalists. But I was kind of looking forward to seeing this movie, as I thought it may appeal to my sensibility: themes of young love, melancholy abound here. My verdict: I liked it enough to not say I hate it. I am kind of glad I saw it, though I wouldn't say I would want to see it again. It's a story of two tweens who start to communicate through letters, then agree to run away. They set up camp and they dance to Francoise Hardy, and French-kiss chastely. It's pure, and innocent, and sweet. But they are young, and even they don't know what their love means. But the movie is much more than that, the boy is a foster child, and because of this incident, is abandoned by his foster parents. "Social Services," played with deliciousness by Tilda Swinton (God - can this woman do anything wrong?) wants to claim him now and put him in a "juvenile orphanage" which evokes Dickensian images. Filmed through a 16mm camera and filtered like an Instagram app photo, the movie is never uninteresting to look at. I will not lie and say that there weren't instances where I rolled my eyes - why must Anderson always have adults as idiots in his films - but more or less, I believed Anderson's (so written with Roman Copolla) screenplay. All the actors here are in on Anderson's joke, and I cannot believe I saw a movie where I liked Bruce Willis' performance. 

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