Friday, June 15, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom (2012) (34/50 movies)

I consider myself a Wes Anderson fan, but I have a confession to make, while I can appreciate Bottle Rocket, The Life Aquatic, and The Darjeeling Limited, they did not stick with me beyond, really, their music. Rushmore  and The Royal Tenenbaums, are out and out classics to me. So what Wes Anderson was doing in the mid part of the aughts, while interesting, it mostly left me cold. But then The Fantastic Mr. Fox came out and I thought it was amazing, and then his first live action movie since then, Moonrise Kingdom, I feel like he has hit his groove once again because I found this to be really excellent. Wonderful history there between Mr. Anderson and I, I am sure. With Summer coming, I have been thinking of Summer movies, not so much Summer blockbusters, but I mean movies about Summer or taking place in Summer. At first, I thought I might include this on the list, but really this is more about the end of Summer, getting ready to go back to school as Summer becomes Autumn. That sort of melancholy pervades this movies, sure it is still funny, but that autumnal sense...well, the changing of seasons, like growing up, pervades the entire movie. It also reveals that he can really direct children because the performances he gets, not only out of the Khaki Scouts (who I loved) but the main pair, who set things in motion by running off together, Sam and Suzy played by Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward are just amazing. Anderson has a great feel, not only for that childlike sense of change and first-time love, but also of adult secrets and sad lives beyond that. Suzy and Sam come from extremely different backgrounds, but there is both something missing there, for Sam it is more apparent, Suzay it's a little more mysterious, and both are smarter then people give them credit for. Anderson is so good with all these ideas it makes me wish he had made Where The Wild Things Are instead of Dave Eggers and Spike Jonze.

The cast is great. Oh, and it being a Wes Anderson picture, his first actual period piece, it looks amazing. I have to admit to being a sucker for the seaside, New England aesthetics anyway, particularly of the old school variety, and Anderson just nails it here. And come to find out, and I wish I had realized this before, but this whole thing was shot in Rhode Island. I guess I knew this but I never put two and two together. I was really excited when they showed the aftermath of a storm that it shows a large hotel that is actually in my hometown: The Ocean House. I then went back and read some more, and, sure thing, the whole thing had been filmed on islands and areas in and around Rhode Island. This has to be the best (or one of the best) purely New England movies, it just has that feel, which, yes makes me nostalgic even though I still live here.

I was going to say above this is a "Wes Anderson" movie, and I understand if it might not be your thing, I probably like Wes Anderson for a lot of the reasons people dislike him. But this one doesn't seem quite as hermetically sealed as his other productions seemed. He has the same fetishes for old school equipment, so to speak, and these are there, but it doesn't seem as distracting here as it might have seemed before, if that makes any sense.
All I know is that even though, especially for the adults, Anderson has created a rather beautiful and melancholy world (or just a world) (Also don't get me wrong it is also very funny at the same time, a tough juggling act it pulls off) and even though it is like that it made me want to crawl under one of it's blankets, read one of Suzy books and just be enveloped by Benjamin Britten and Francoise Hardy, cozy up and live there.


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