Moonrise Kingdom [2012]



Directed by: Wes Anderson
Written by: Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
Starring: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Jason Schwartzman, Bob Balaban

For a movie with such a warm palette, this one left me a bit cold. Insanely high expectations can do that to ya. A detached treatment from its director and characters that are almost impossible to relate to will do it too.

On a sensory level, this film is perfect. The camera glides and travels beautifully, capturing gorgeous colors, costumes and locations. The care that went into setting and framing every shot is almost palpable.

Talented, hip directors like Wes Anderson can conjure up a brilliant group of actors out of thin air, and Willis, Norton, Murray, McDormand, Swinton, Schwartzman, Balaban, as well as newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward form one of the finest ensemble casts of the year. My personal favorite was Lucas Hedges as a villainous Boy Scout, a fantastic albeit brief performance in a movie filled with great turns by inexperienced child actors.

On an emotional level, though, it didn’t do anything for me. The characters were way too offbeat and depressive for my taste, so I didn’t really care what happened to them. I was more concerned with the poor dead dog. That said, this is the best looking movie of 2012 and a commendable effort from Anderson, even if it’s a clear case of style over substance.