HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Advent Calendar, The
Champion
Merchant of Four Seasons, The
Love of Jeanne Ney, The
Blonde. Purple
Dirty Ho
Annette
Shepherd
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Swallow
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Maelstrom
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Bull
Censor
Sleep
Freaky
Nightbooks
Whisker Away, A
Wild Indian
Whale Island
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Don't Breathe 2
   
 
Newest Articles
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
   
 
  Moonrise Kingdom A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra of Life
Year: 2012
Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Harvey Keitel, Bob Balaban, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick
Genre: Comedy, Romance, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 4 votes)
Review: The year is 1965. On the idyllic New England island of New Penzance, Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) is alarmed to discover twelve year old orphan Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) has fled Camp Ivanhoe together with his friend young Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward). Police Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) shares the news with Suzy’s parents, Walt (Bill Murray) and Laura Bishop (Frances McDormand) as it becomes apparent the troubled youngsters carefully planned their escape. Sharing adventures together amidst their idyllic retreat, Suzy and Sam fall deeper in love. Meanwhile, Captain Sharp and Scout Master Ward mobilize the scout troop into a search party as a dangerous storm threatens the island.

Wes Anderson made one of cinema’s most inspired and original comedies in Rushmore (1998) though the arch style and near-obsessive love of minutiae that characterise his output rub some people up the wrong way. His knack for crafting vividly eccentric characters and oddball worlds infused with wry humour transcends occasionally aimless plots yet often a tendency to scrutinise these in clinical fashion has led some to claim his work lacks soul. Not so Moonrise Kingdom, which ranks close to a masterpiece as clearly Anderson’s most heartfelt and affecting work. His trademark storybook style of direction befits a tale told through a child’s eyes but it is the clever use of Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, complimenting Alexandre Desplat’s delicate score, that unlocks the film’s intent.

Just as Britten deconstructed the orchestra for his young listeners, so too does Anderson utilize the misadventures of his child heroes as a means of deconstructing the community. Sam and Suzy’s escapades unearth an array of revelations and secret sadness among the grownups who all appear much as a child would perceive them, with their most neurotic traits magnified. It is a conceit possibly lifted from Federico Fellini’s approach in Amarcord (1974). However, rather than reduce them to caricatures, the film’s approach is distinctly humane, illustrating how their flaws and foibles are all part of being human. Anderson presents them as dysfunctional people but shows that they can come together as a functioning community. In this endeavour he is greatly aided by an outstanding ensemble cast, particularly the perfectly pitched performances delivered by Bruce Willis and Edward Norton. In the hands of these two gifted actors, Captain Sharp and Scout Master Ward emerge as two tragically lonely yet inherently lovable sad-sacks whose reaction to the adolescent lovers is one of gentle befuddlement and causes them to reassess their own lives. Regular Anderson collaborator Jason Schwartzman pops up in fine form while their are further delightful turns from the likes of Harvey Keitel, Tilda Swinton and Bob Balaban as our charmingly pompous onscreen narrator.

In lesser hands the mathematically precise coordination of retro-Sixties production design, methodical cinematography by regular D.P. Robert Yeoman and finely tuned soundtrack could have reduced the film to an elaborate dolls’ house, but Anderson wisely centred this film around two spirited young leads. Newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward complement the usual deadpan humour with kind of sincerity lacking in Anderson’s earlier post-Rushmore work. The film is refreshingly candid about pre-adolescent sexuality without straying into prurience but at its heart focuses upon two troubled children who find refuge in love and fantasy and in doing so inspire grownups and peers alike to draw something better from themselves. With its gently satirical wit and warm humanity the film sometimes recalls Charles Schultz’s Peanuts comic strip. It even features a dog called Snoopy, albeit one that comes to a comically sticky end yet subtly underlines a preoccupation with death and rebirth.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3227 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: