Moonrise Kingdom

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Moonrise Kingdom 10Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Directed by Wes Anderson

Written by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola

Starring: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman

Sam (Gilman) and Suzy (Hayward) have fallen in love, and now they’re on the run. Her parents (Murray, McDormand) and his Khaki Scout leader (Norton) are working with Captain Sharp (Willis) of the town police to find them. Everything gets interesting when the small community gets involved in the search.

Moonrise Kingdom 1This is another wacky creation from director Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel). This time he worked alongside Roman Coppola (The Darjeeling Limited) on the screenplay. They were nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. The cast, like most of Anderson’s films, is a list of big names. Surprisingly, the film is led by two new faces. Jared Gilman (Elsa & Fred) and Kara Haywood (The Sisterhood of Night) star in this one. They’re joined by Bruce Willis (Pulp Fiction), Frances McDormand (Blood Simple), Bill Murray (St. Vincent), Edward Norton (The Score), Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin), and Jason Schwartzman (Saving Mr. Banks).

Moonrise Kingdom 4This story is actually really simple. The young love that drives Sam and Suzy is not unlike most youthful romances on film. The major difference is that Anderson and Coppola twist it all into a weird and wonderful journey. While the movie works on simple themes, it’s the little touches that make it awesome. The story takes all the wrong turns in all the right places, leading to hilarious and awkward moments from beginning to end.

Moonrise Kingdom 6The dialogue, like most of Anderson’s work, is limited to only what needs to be said. It’s a great example of a writer knowing where to let the images speak without words. Pace might be the only weakness of this screenplay. This doesn’t get off to the quick start of The Grand Budapest Hotel, but it’s still a fun ride.

Moonrise Kingdom 2The acting in this movie is pretty great. Jared Gilman and Kara Haywood were unknown faces before this movie was made, but their work is so good. They have an awkward chemistry that plays as endearing and charming throughout the film. The pair of them both pull of their roles perfectly. The fun doesn’t stop with them. Edward Norton is great in this one as well. He has a fun role that once again proves his comedic skill. He also has great chemistry with the younger actors in this one.

Moonrise Kingdom 3Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, and Bill Murray all do nice work as well. Each of the actors seemed to understand the quirks and flaws of their characters. Each of them also helps to bring out the hilarious nature of the story. Tilda Swinton and Jason Schwartzman are also wonderful in this one. Overall, the cast just gets this story, and that pays off nicely.

Moonrise Kingdom 8Wes Anderson doesn’t just rely on acting and writing to make his movies great. He also has a clear vision that his films live by. His work is easily distinguished by the unique use of color, costuming, and cinematography. This mix of unique style choices gives the movie a feel unlike any other. Cinematographer Robert Yeoman (Rushmore) shot this movie on Super 16mm film, adding to the unique style of the images.

Moonrise Kingdom 5This is a fun movie that Anderson fans will all appreciate. I would also suggest this to fans of any of the stars. This is a unique way to see some of them on the big screen. This is also a good one for anyone looking for a unique movie experience. I give this one 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 94 Minutes


  1. Awesome review.
    Moonrise Kingdom was my first experience of Wes Anderson but I fell in love with it almost immediately. I was glad to discover that a good friend was already a fan of his and she made sure to introduce me to all of his work. Although The Grand Budapest Hotel is, in my opinion, a most accomplished work, this film holds a very special place in my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is definitely a different experience than Grand Budapest. I’m still not sure if I can pick a favorite. I am glad you had a friend who could introduce you to his work. Thanks for checking out my review.


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