Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom. One of my favorite moves to come out in the past few years – I saw it in theaters twice! This is the kind of movie you can watch over and over again because in typical Wes Anderson fashion, there is so much to see and hear within every single shot.

My favorite thing about this movie, and every Wes Anderson movie, is the cinematography choices that are made. He embraces extremely wide shots, juxtaposing them with extreme close-ups. This keeps me interested as a viewer mainly because so few movies are able to completely this as effectively. Rather than looking and sloppy and mismatched, the movie moves seamlessly at a comfortable, engaging pace.

Beyond the cinematography, I think the writing and story is crucial to the success of this movie. This story has been done before in a way – two unhappy kids run away from home. The biggest challenge was to make it seem like this hadn’t been done before. This is well executed with the use of a narrator, and the unique sub plots. The humorous plot line with the Khaki scouts and Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton’s character) is one of my favorite parts of this movie. A big part of it may be that Norton is breaking out of his typecast with this role, playing a character that supplies comedic relief.

This brings me into the casting selection. I think this film did an excellent job casting each role. Having huge names like Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, and Norton starring with kids who are relatively unknown makes me, as a viewer, more willing to give these kids a chance to prove their talent… which they absolutely did. Only children are able to capture the innocence of growing up, awkwardly falling in love without realizing it, and the fear of “getting caught.”

Anderson on set coaching the child stars of Moonrise Kingdom.

Overall, the engaging cinematography, the writing, and the cast all contribute to the success of this movie as one of my favorite films. Sometimes the story line drags a bit, toward the end especially, but the interesting visuals and dark humor make it worth the viewing. I give this film a 4/5.


5 thoughts on “Moonrise Kingdom

  1. I very much agree that the script is crucial the Moonrise’s success. A lot of people (including myself) get caught up in Wes Anderson’s various quirks, but the writing is extremely valuable to the movie as well. The entirety of the story is hinged by consistently distinct dialogue which adds a significant chunk to the identity of the movie. The children are funny in one way or another, but so are the adults. Moonrise cannot be taken all that seriously in large part due to the intended humor that we get from the adults who act almost like children.


  2. Although I am not familiar with Wes Anderson’s work, I most definitely agree with you when you say how me made brilliant cinematography choices. The settings he chose for the film were definitely eye-catching (particularly Suzy’s house on the beach, along with the yellow theme in Sam’s foster home). Although I’m more an an action loving movie viewer, the storyline was something new to experience. I mentioned in my own blog post how there was the cliche storyline of children running away from home to escape their miserable lives. BUT the thing that surprised me the most was the sexual nature Wes Anderson decided to incorporate in the children. All in all though, I agree (for the most part) about everything you said. While the actors aren’t necessarily my favorite actors, I think the casting was still done well for Moonrise Kingdom.


  3. The casting is definitely a part of the success of this movie. I think it’s also interesting to notice that it takes place in the continuity of the Anderson’s movies.Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Harvey Keitel and more perform in many Anderson’s movies. But you right, the two kids retain the attention. They are fresh, and funny. They are likable.


  4. Amanda,
    This is a very articulate blog post, one which easily guides your reader towards understanding your affection for the film as well as giving them information about the film itself. Given your current WordPress theme, your pics end up a bit orphaned given their size (with so much white space on either side); something you could fix by either making them bigger or stacking several along the same line. Other than that, great work!


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