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Dueling reviews: ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ is a must-see

Contributing Writer

Published: Friday, October 5, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02

Moonrise Kingdom

Courtesy Photo

Wes Anderson delivers yet another masterpiece with “Moonrise Kingdom.” This beautiful film combines humor and heart using an outstanding all-star cast that includes Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Harvey Keitel. In arguably his best work yet, Anderson creates another whimsical world that will delight all who experience the film, guaranteed.

The film tells the love story of Sam and Suzy, two 12-year-old misfits played by Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, respectively. It is set in the summer of 1965, on the sparsely populated, heavily wooded island of New Penzance off the coast of New England.

Sam and Suzy run away together, escaping their own lives to create a new one together. Search parties including Suzy’s parents, a police captain, and a scout master and his troop, search for the two missing children. Meanwhile, a ferocious storm is headed toward the island and Social Services plans to take Sam away to juvenile refuge. The adults must locate the children; the children must evade the adults. All the while, the characters experience what comes with young love, family and the thirst for getting away.

Anderson is known for both his original stories and his eccentric style; the stylish world he creates in this film does not disappoint. The sets are fantastic, the colors are brilliant, the cinematography—shot using the grainy Super 16mm format and using 360 degree shots—is stunning, and the score, which utilizes orchestras and choirs, is utterly moving. In addition, the acting is wonderful. The adult cast holds the film together, which balances out the young stars. The veteran actors do a fantastic job of portraying multifaceted characters.

These complex characters, even if only featured for a short amount of time, are more than meets the eye. Their personalities, their backgrounds and the weight that they hold on their shoulders, are felt simply in how the actors carry themselves. The film also brings a sense of truth and reality amidst an unlikely plot, which is proof of Anderson’s brilliance in creating his characters and his films’ overall themes.

The film evokes many different emotions, as seen in the contrast between the adults and the children. There are light parts to the film that embody the innocence of young love. At the same time, there are serious moments of the film that display the desperation and discontent that can come with family life. Short and sweet at a mere hour and 33 minutes, “Moonrise Kingdom” is a wonderfully acted, beautifully shot, quirky tale of young love that any movie-goer will undoubtedly enjoy. Go see it in the MUB this weekend for $2; you will not regret it.

Final Score: 4 out of 4 stars

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