Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Best Bookstore

Best Bookstore

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

College Issue 2014: Sell clothes. Plato’s Closet is a great place to take your gently worn apparel in exchange for cold, hard cash. They accept clothes, shoes and... By Brittany Minor 8/18/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

Arts & Culture: San Antonio is one of the oldest cities in the United States, and its history stretches long before the people behind the American or Texas Revolutions... By Mark Reagan 10/15/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Screens & Tech

‘Moonrise Kingdom,’ one of Wes Anderson’s best movies

Photo: N/A, License: N/A


The characters in Wes Anderson's movies live in a fantasyland. Going back to his 1998 breakthrough Rushmore to 2009′s Fantastic Mr. Fox (a stop-motion animated film about woodland creatures that takes the whole fantasy thing to the extreme), the boys, girls, men, women, and assorted animals who populate the writer-director's movies exist in a world that's a little bit different than the one we're living in.

But even Anderson's best movies — Mr. Fox, The Royal Tenenbaums — can be insular and self-aware. Of course, his fans love him for these qualities, while outsiders are left cold by his occasionally arch dialogue, cagey plots, and distancing style. In other words, you know when you're watching a Wes Anderson movie. In that respect, Moonrise Kingdom, his seventh feature, is the quintessential Wes Anderson film. Regulars Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman show up. Newcomers Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, and Tilda Swinton join the party. And the whole thing falls together with an equal mix of Anderson's childlike charm and hipster coolness.

It's 1965 New England, and 12-year-old orphan Sam (Jared Gilman) falls for 12-year-old Suzy (Kara Hayward). He looks like most of Anderson's young protagonists: skinny, nerdy, and sporting glasses that don't fit his head quite right. And she's a dead ringer for a typical Anderson woman, coming off at least 10 years older than the boys around her.

Sam and Suzy decide to run away from it all. Sam's in his scout uniform, complete with canteen and knee-high socks; Suzy is decked out like she's spending the weekend with the Kennedys. All the grownups — including Murray and Frances McDormand as Suzy's loveless lawyer parents — freak out, especially when they get news that a big storm is on the way.

That's pretty much the plot. But as any Anderson fan will tell you, it all comes down to the details. Anderson and co-writer Roman Coppola stuff Moonrise Kingdom with all of the things you've come to expect from the director: a wry narrator, glorious set design, a vintage soundtrack, and dialogue that playfully volleys across the screen.

Moonrise Kingdom moves quicker and more effortlessly than Anderson's past few movies; it's his liveliest film since The Royal Tenenbaums. And the excellent cast keeps up, especially Norton as a scout leader who runs his camp like boot camp but genuinely cares about the unpopular and unloved Sam, and Willis, as a small-town police chief who also happens to be having an affair with Suzy's mom.

The young couple at the center of the movie follow every step, developing a believable balance of 12-year-old innocence and grown-up angst. Sam smokes a pipe, Suzy wears too much makeup, and they stumble through their feelings like people twice their age. Most of this will bug the shit out of Anderson's detractors, and you can see their point if you don't settle into Anderson's groove. But there's so much joy here — with words, filmmaking, and that moment in life when adolescent whims give way to young-adult desires. — Michael Gallucci

Moonrise Kingdom

★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

Dir. Wes Anderson; writ. Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola; feat. Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand (PG-13)

Recently in Screens & Tech
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus