Out & About

July 19, 2012

'Moonrise Kingdom' Anderson's best film yet

The films of Wes Anderson tend to revel in their own cleverness, sometimes at the expense of realistic characters and big laughs.

“Moonrise Kingdom,” however, is sure to please longtime Anderson fans while also appealing to many of his detractors. It’s his most accessible — and flat-out best — film yet.

Sure, it’s still quirky, stylized and absurd, but it’s beautifully filmed and not so clever and self-important that it interferes with the story or the characters.

“Moonrise Kingdom” is set on an isolated island off the coast of New England in 1965 and focuses on a pair of 12-year-old outsiders.

Sam is a misfit scout — a bespectacled, coonskin cap-wearing orphan wise in the ways of the forest but ridiculed by his fellow scouts and unwanted by his foster family. Suzy is pretty but friendless, raised in a dysfunctional home with lawyer parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) and dealing with anger-management issues.

The two decide to run away together — he with full camping supplies, her with a cat and a battery-operated record player — and they have to elude the pursuit of a motley posse while simultaneously learning a little something about young love.

The movie is warm and sentimental, marked with deadpan and dark humor. First-timers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward are excellent as the two naive young leads, and as usual, Anderson has built a sterling supporting cast.

Bruce Willis is understated as the lonely small-town sheriff. McDormand and Murray are perfectly matched as Suzy’s distant but concerned parents.

Edward Norton is earnest without being too goofy as the scout leader who musters his reluctant troops to find their AWOL member. Harvey Keitel is his superior, and Tilda Swinton is the somewhat villainous woman from social services.

Anderson regular Jason Schwartzman is also around, in a small but funny role.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Steve Ouellette's Movie Reviews

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Entertainment Videos
Zooey Deschanel Adds Designing to Her Repertoire Miley Cyrus Still in Hospital, Cancels 2nd Show 'Half of a Yellow Sun' Hits the Big Screen Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Swift's Bus Drives Into Country Hall of Fame ShowBiz Minute: Cyrus, Walker, Combs Pedro Pascal Plays 'Game of Thrones'' Red Viper Deeley Shows Acting Chops in Hulu's 'Deadbeat' Ora Strips Efron at MTV Awards ShowBiz Minute: MTV Awards, Lopez, Royals Stars Hit Red Carpet for MTV Movie Awards Conan Backs Colbert, Hosts MTV Movie Awards Jeff Perry Teases 'Scandal' Season Finale Nirvana, KISS and More Enter Rock Hall ShowBiz Minute: Nirvana, Snooki, Royals Garfield and Stone Bust a Move in London Depp Still Not Used to the Red Carpet Colbert Fans Back the Move to CBS Late Night Stephen Colbert to Replace David Letterman Tove Lo's 'Habits'
CVPH Job Opportunities