Wesley Wales Anderson (or just Wes to his friends) brings us this slice of 1960’s Americana following the trials and trails of star-crossed lovers Sam and Suzy.
If you looked up the definition of the word quirky in the dictionary (why do you have a dictionary with pictures by the way?) then you’d probably find a picture of Wes Anderson there. So, there are no surprises that the quirkiness is definitely present and correct in Moonrise Kingdom.
The director who’s brought us quirky (sorry!) peculiar films such as Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Darjeeling Limited returns with a tale of the disenchanted young and not-so young residents of a New England town.
Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward) are both troubled teens who plot to escape their respective home lives whilst being pursued by the local policeman Captain Shard (Bruce Willis), Suzy’s parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) and Sam’s Khaki Scout Master Ward (Ed Norton).
Things start well on their adventure as Sam is an excellent Scout and despite Suzy. She brings along her kitten, a large suitcase filled with books, her brother’s record player and ten days supply of tinned food for said kitten. Sam looks after Suzy whilst Suzy reads passages from her favourite books to Sam.
Their relationship grows quickly and leads them to seek the services of Cousin Ben (Anderson regular, Jason Schwatzman) so they can be ‘married’. All the while still dodging the locals plus the tyrannical Social Services (Tilda Swinton) whose aim is to separate the duo and send Sam off to Juvenile detention and – oh perhaps – a little electric shock treatment for good measure.
The young actors are definitely the stars of the film with the adults delivering quiet and confident supporting roles. We’ll even forgive the slightly stiff and unnatural dialogue that Anderson and his co-writer (Roman Coppola) places in his young charges mouths.
So, Moonrise Kingdom. An engaging ninety minutes of gentle comedy. Neat, tidy and bright. Perfect for a relaxing Sunday afternoon.