Sunday, July 22, 2012
I'm not even the Buzz Aldrin of the Moonrise discussion...
I've started my Moonrise Kingdom "review" so many times. For whatever reason, I was never able to write anything beyond two paragraphs, and none of it seemed interesting to me anyway. Besides, Brandon, Jeff, and John all did a great job writing about the film. Three very tough acts to follow. Thanks, guys ;). I also pretty much agree with everything you all wrote.
But let's see how far I can get right now...
Moonrise Kingdom isn't my favorite Wes Anderson film...not yet, anyway. It is a beautiful film, however, and just might be Wes' best work to date. From the moment I saw the first trailer, I was completely hooked. I really enjoy the "us against world" love stories. I think the reason behind that is because I've always felt that if all I had in the world was one person whom I loved unconditionally (and whom loved me equally), I would have everything I need.
But luckily for Sam and Suzy, they have more than just each other. That something more might not always be enough (as Bill Murray's character succinctly states), but it certainly isn't worthless. I'm referring to the sense of community that's promoted in Moonrise that Jeff praised in his posts. Sam and Suzy, despite being a pair of young, misfit rebels, receive plenty of helping hands along the way by Captain Sharp, Scout Master Ward, Cousin Ben, and the Khaki Scout Troop. This charming sense of community demonstrates that even though it feels like an "us against the world" romance, the world will be there to support you if your love is true.
Centering this story around kids on a remote island was a brilliant move on the part of Anderson and Roman Coppola. Often the romantic feelings of young people are dismissed by their elders. In truth, many of us grow older without learning anything about love; life experiences and relationship histories do not automatically make us experts on anything. In the end, there is no formula in finding love. Moonrise Kingdom does a fantastic job of reminding us all of that and more.
Anderson carefully balances the innocence and the maturity in Sam and Suzy's relationship. The more sexual scenes between the two characters do not scandalize or hurt the film in any way as a result. I do admit, I felt slightly uncomfortable when I saw those scenes play out in the theater. It was as if Wes was now asking too much of his young actors. But obviously as I type this, I've come to accept the idea that because the innocence between these two characters is so beautifully established early on in the film, it eases the audience into those slightly stronger, sexual scenes. Not to mention the fact that whether we like it or not, the reality is that many young people are sexual.
Anyway, moving to less of a hot-button issue, I thought the cast was excellent. Every actor was perfect for his and her role. I would've liked to have seen more Bill Murray, but what can you do? It's nice to see Edward Norton in a good film again. He's like a old friend from your childhood who you get to see only every now and then. I love that he's playing a soft-spoken scout master here; another (increasingly less frequent) reminder of what a talented actor he is. Also, Jason Schwartzman and Wes Anderson do it again. From the moment we meet Cousin Ben, I felt the film really picked up. I definitely enjoyed myself the most during his scenes. Great stuff.
I don't really have much to end this post on. I'm just happy that I've finally expressed some love and admiration for it; it's an excellent film. I don't expect anyone to respond to this post (due to my tardiness...all right, "tardiness" is an understatement). I do want to move on to Brave and The Artist. Adrienne's post on Brave really got me excited about the movie again and I'd like to discuss it, even briefly.
I really agree with Jeff on The Artist, so I'm not sure that I'll have much to add there. Then, of course, I can't wait for the Dark Knight Rises discussion. Again, I really need to watch the entire film before I post on it. I've seen everything except for about twenty minutes of the beginning of the third act (so I do know how the film ends). I think I've now spent enough time in the Regal bathroom to last a lifetime.