Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

"No, what kind of bird are you?"
One's appreciation (and/or love) of Wes Anderson's seventh feature film will depend on how nostalgic one is about childhood magic and childhood romance. There's tons to enjoy here--the mostly Benjamin Britten score, the intricate dollhouse sets, the geometric camera work, and lots of very funny slapstick humor--but to truly love this movie, and I did love it, you need to be one of the people who occasionally get haunted by nostalgia, the real and the fictional.

Sam and Suzy's romance is pretty much over before it begins. They run away on an island. They are going to be found. And while Sam has plenty to be sad about (he wears his dead mother's broach on his Khaki Scout uniform) Suzy is a different creature, coming from a stable but unhappy family on the island. Her despair (and rage) seems to be a dread of the future, of having to give up her fantasy books (it's not unintentional that they are all library books), and having to become an adult, with the disappointments that being an adult means. So she runs away and briefly re-names a cove before a storm comes in. A very touching film, and one of Wes Anderson's best.

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