Moonrise Kingdom. Jarad Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman. Focus Features. Comedy/drama/romance. Written by West Anderson and Roman Coppola. Directed by Wes Anderson. 6/22/12
FILM SYNOPSIS: A pair of quirky 12-year-olds, convinced they are in love, flee their New England town and self-absorbed parents. As an approaching storm nears the island theyíve escaped to, the parents, police chief and local scout leader fan out to find them.
REVIEW: I described the kids as quirky, but the same could be said for the story and treatment of its subject, family relationships. Iím not sure people will leave the theater with new insight on child rearing. Nor will they leave thinking this is the funniest movie ever. While it has some tender moments, some laugh-out-loud situations, and nice performances by one and all, at best, this eccentric comedy is diverting, a time passer.
Now, diverting isnít bad. Nor is this film. But director Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic) looks at life as if heíd watched multiple showings of the dark-humored Harold and Maude and the bizarre Brewster McCloud. Not many of the characters ring true, theyíre more like caricatures stuck in an offbeat fairy tale.
As for the fierce and calamitous approaching storm, I guess it serves as a metaphor, signaling each characterís sudden self-examination as they face new beginnings. The entire cast shares a bemused melancholia, as the kids desire to shed their childhood innocence and the adults realize they canít remember their ownÖ. I guess.
One scene deserves mentioning, as I found it somewhat disturbing. During one scene, the kids share their first kiss. Itís touching, perhaps reminding us of our own first intimate moment with the opposite sex. Then, the girl suggests that they French kiss.
Again, it is a sweet moment as they try out adult expressions of intimacy. But when she has the boy touch her breast, while the two are standing in a field, dressed only in their underwear, I began to feel uncomfortable. This is a private moment of discovery. I felt a bit icky, as if I were a peeping tom.
I havenít heard anybody else complain about the sequence, so perhaps Iím making more of it than necessary. The scene doesnít go any further than that, and I certainly donít want to come across as repressed, but why would I want to watch two kids beginning to make out? I donít wanna. Itís a private moment, almost sacred, as these two are trying to understand the ways of adulthood, or at least adolescence. Thatís not for us adults to watch. Also, knowing how Hollywood likes to push the envelope, Iím always concerned about how far the next filmmaker will take such expressions of sexual discovery in the name of art?
PG-13 (two obscenities and four or five minor expletives; two profane uses of Godís name and one misuse of Christís; a storm causes a destructive flood and a boy gets hit by lightening Ė though heís unharmed; kids get in a fight, a boy is stabbed, though we donít see it and he survives; the kids share their first kissing experience; it is implied that an adult couple have committed adultery; the kids are seen in their underwear; An adult gives a boy a couple of sips of beer). Running Time: 94 min. Intended Audience: Mature viewers
SUBSCRIBE now to The Movie Reporter. Have reviews of the latest films from a Christianís perspective delivered to your E-mail address each week. Go to the home page and click the Subscription button for details.
© 1998 - CC Publications
(913) 845-2020 ∑ firstname.lastname@example.org