Videodrone New Release: The Real-Life Fairy Tale of 'Moonrise Kingdom'
Wes Anderson's finest, sweetest, and most touching film to date
In the interest of full disclosure, let me confess that no movie this year has given me more joy than "Moonrise Kingdom" (Universal).
Wes Anderson has made a career exploring the childhood neuroses that keep adult characters in an arrested state of adolescence and stasis. It's been a lively career with creatively energetic high points like "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tennenbaums" but an approach with diminishing returns. Until "Fantastic Mr. Fox," a film that refracted his portraits of dysfunctional families and modern anxieties through a storybook world.
In "Moonrise Kingdom," Anderson finally builds a film around the troubled kids themselves. Kara Hayward's Suzy, a book-loving loner with anger issues, and Jared Gilman's Sam, an eccentric orphan out of step with his fellow Khaki Scouts, are two misfit adolescents who instantly recognize the other as a kindred soul and run away together into the wilds of a New England island. Which, admittedly, makes escape a little difficult, what with a small army of Khaki scout trackers and a storm on the way.
It's funny, it's playful, it's full of nostalgic blasts and period trappings, but most of all it is loving: accepting of the headstrong kids determined to find their place in the world, forgiving of the oblivious adults around them, affectionate in its storybook imagery and narrative playfulness.