Moonrise Kingdom (12A)

Film

Comedy

Moonrise Kingdom

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Tue May 15 2012

Straightaway you know you’re in a film by Wes Anderson. ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ opens with the camera gracefully panning sideways through the cross-section of a suburban home in 1960s New England, stopping occasionally, like a train pulling into station after station, to spy on members the family. We may as well be peering into a retro doll’s house – and we are the kids about to play with the toys inside.

But if some of Anderson’s films, especially his last live-action work, ‘The Darjeeling Limited ’, have felt too heavy on the furnishings and light on feelings, this one is so much more free, fresh and soulful. Some things are familiar: it’s droll, cultured and comic. It wears its own uniform and plays its own tunes. Yet it also benefits from a heavy dose of youthful chaos.

Maybe ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ gets its lightness from being a simple, heartwarming romance, a rousing, us-against-the-world tale of a pair of 12 year olds who arrange to meet at dawn and march into the wilderness as outlaws. He’s Sam (Jared Gilman), a terrifically serious, bespectacled young man from a foster home who disappears from Scout camp, leaving a resignation letter for the leader (Edward Norton). She’s Suzy (Kara Hayward), the fiercely independent eldest daughter of the family we’ve spied on. Her mum and dad (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) are eccentric lawyers: he walks about the house brandishing his pot belly; she uses a loudhailer to call the kids to dinner. When Sam and Suzy disappear, the entire town (and a bunch of armed Scouts) come looking.

There’s a snappy momentum to ‘Moonrise Kingdom’. Anderson strikes a smart balance between creating a rarefied world and making us feel for his adolescent heroes: a stolen kiss on the beach between the two kids is magical and romantic. This is an American story but it has an unmistakeable French flavour to it. The 1960s setting, the kids on the run and the wild plotting (a bit too wild in the final third), all give it a nouvelle vague feel. It’s an American ‘Pierrot le Fou’ refashioned in retrospect with Anna Karina and Jean-Paul Belmondo as pre-teens. It also reminded me of Richard Ayoade’s recent ‘Submarine’, while Anderson himself has spoken of the influence of Ken Loach’s ‘Kes’ and ‘Black Jack’. That reference isn’t so easy to spot – maybe it’s there in the genuine concern for these kids’ feelings and their discovery of a whole new world in nature.

This is an adult film, really, of course, with all the pleasures of seeing Bruce Willis as a soft-hearted local cop; briefly encountering Tilda Swinton as a uniformed care worker called Social Services; lapping up the ample Hank Williams on the soundtrack; and squirming at a school production of Benjamin Britten’s ‘Noye’s Fludde’. But you can imagine ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ turning young kids on to cinema; it’s so full of a joyous love for the medium and smart without being clever-clever. Its childishness, sense of innocence and eye for fun all make it a very easy film to love.

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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri May 25, 2012

Duration:

94 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton

Screenwriter:

Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola

Director:

Wes Anderson

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5
LiveReviews|28
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tyxdjjy

the worst film ive ever seen, i will probably kill all the actors because it sucked so mucc-_-

tyxdjjy

the worst film ive ever seen, i will probably kill all the actors because it sucked so mucc-_-

Paul Clarke

I forgot to allocate stars (the three star is apparently auto-default...). I'll give it five...!!!

Paul Clarke

I forgot to allocate stars (the three star is apparently auto-default...). I'll give it five...!!!

Yossi

I've been waiting for Anderson to do another decent film, like Rushmore, for years. In vain. Perhaps I'm too old.

shervin

Ah, great now kids can pretend they are in love when they are in second grade, draw their boy/girlfriends naked and pretend they are the love of each other's lives. Have to agree media is substantially good at deception of audience. I almost thought I must have been in love when I was 12 and liked a girl. nice to put the girl in white contrasting bikinis and short skirts. Might as well skip the bullshit and do a full sex scene with the kids already.

cinema goer

Not half as clever as it likes to think it is. I love a good arts film but Moonrise Kingdom felt like an average breakfast: hammy and over egged.

worth seeing

Interesting to have that combination of actors in those kinds of roles. The kids were very good, but I'm not sure about the sexualising thing. Initially I did feel a bit uncomfortable about it, but the film ended up so sweet that it actually didn't really mean that much in the end. The music was wonderful - used to listen to it when I was young and had forgotten about how great it is. The film is definitely worth seeing.

Francesca

Wonderful. Just joy for your eyes and ears. Please go watch it it will make you good! Perfectly agree with previous comment the young girl is not sexualized, it is just like heaven!

Francesca

Wonderful. Just joy for your eyes and ears. Please go watch it it will make you good! Perfectly agree with previous comment the young girl is not sexualized, it is just like heaven!

SD

I suspect this film gets its high critic rating as Wes Anderson is 'cool'. It's a sweet(ish) film but very, very average, and nothing like as good as Andersen's last outing (Fantastic Mr.Fox). Some reviewers may have a point about the sexualisation of the female lead. Wait for DVD if at all

Paul

A quirky film for sure but enjoyable once you suspect expectation or belief, for me memories of Lemony Snicket, WhereTWTA and the arrival of adolescence. At the end of the film, don't rush out with the sheep but stay seated for the final surprise at the end as the credits roll

MikeT

This film widely misses the spot. Though you can see what it’s trying to be, side splitting I didn’t find it, and neither did much of the relatively small audience I saw it with. Perhaps the ‘humour’ in this film relates better to an American audience where scout camps may have a bigger appeal, but it wasn’t long into the film before no less than three people some rows in front of me pulled out their mobile phones and continued to surf until the end of the film. I only stuck it to the end as this film’s only around 90 minutes. Good try. One star. . (Having just pasted my review into this box/page, I scrolled past ARCHGATE's review, which I totally agree with.)

long cat

Almost surreal exploration into 1965 pre-teen love/romance - this film borders on comedy in parts and serious themes in others. Some A-list actors are overshadowed by the kids who by rights should've had star billing. How many movies are stars such as Willis, Keitel, Murray, Swinton etc upstaged by two unknowns. Go see this movie and revel in the innocence it portrays (shades of the dismal "Where the wild things are" in the backdrop).

scrumpyjack

Standard, over quirky Anderson with typical (ohhhh! clever) wooden dialogue and the usual (Ohhh! I get it!) "odd" performances. Oddly, have always liked his work though - in a "one off viewing" kinda way - but zero surprises 6/10

JayneM

Nice quirky film about first love, I don't know what all the fuss about "over sexualisation" of the young girl from other reviewers,

Filmfan

I absolutely loved this film from beginning to end. The script, acting, photography and music were flawless. Please see it by any means necessary! The girl was not sexualised - this is simply first love, beautifully and sensitively handled.

Filmfan

I absolutely loved this film from beginning to end. The script, acting, photography and music were flawless. Please see it by any means necessary! The girl was not sexualised - this is simply first love, beautifully and sensitively handled.

john o sullivan

82 on Metacritic and 95 on Rotten Tom atoers .. maybe a bit of a stretch for Goonie fans and products of Labour schooling

philsee

Eventually very impressed with this film, but it took a while to get interesting. Perhaps that was inevitable because of the changing relationships of the characters. Dream-like story telling and imagery, almost surreal in parts.

philsee

Eventually very impressed with this film, but it took a while to get interesting. Perhaps that was inevitable because of the changing relationships of the characters. Dream-like story telling and imagery, almost surreal in parts.

Ian

I have obviously just watched a different film to some of the reviewers. I found it dull, self indulgent and really very pretentious. The kids are great but the sexualisation of the girl is unnecessary and just adds to the "art house" feel of the film. I have seen some god and some great "coming of age" movies, the Goonies and Stand by Me come to mind and this isn't one. I agree with Archgate it is another example of the lauding of directors when really it is just another dull and slow film. Only just worth 2 stars.

john o sullivan

A Masterpiece... As satisfying as a Kaurismaki box set...Best film of the year..Hank Williams,B.B. and Francoise Hardy....bliss

john o sullivan

A Masterpiece... As satisfying as a Kaurismaki box set...Best film of the year..Hank Williams,B.B. and Francoise Hardy....bliss

galning

completely fab! the just-hit-puberty sex is very underplayed and totally in keeping and what's wrong with love between 12 year olds anyway? if I had kids I'd very happily take them to see the film, adults too of course

Ian

Bizarre, droll, gloriously colourful, a parallel universe of wit and wonder and a wonderful lead pair who act the socks off the celebrity adult actors. If this has anything to do with Ken Loach, then it is only if he was tied down and fed large quantities of magic mushrooms. Loved it. Great music btw, don't miss the credits.