Sunday, June 3, 2012
Wes Anderson is an acquired taste, and I feel as though his work is very polarizing. Many people either love the man's films or hate them. I am in the camp of people who find his work to be charming, endearing, and downright hilarious. His deadpan style of humor, and the unique way in which he films a scene set him apart from other filmmakers, and I believe that different is a good thing.
His latest outing "Moonrise Kingdom" has hit limited theaters this weekend and I had a chance to check it out. I enjoyed the film, although I will say it is probably my least favorite of his works. That is not to say that it's a bad film by any stretch. Wonderful performances by most of the cast and the usual style from Anderson help this film gain a positive rating from me. I thought it did drag at parts, and even though it only runs about 90 minutes, the film feels like it's about 2 hours. This is not a good thing. There is one scene in particular that just downright made no sense, which I won't spoil on here, but my friend and I both noticed it and commented after our viewing. Co-written by Roman Coppola it was smirk-educing to hear a small little reference to The Godfather at one point in the film.
The two main characters, two young actors Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman stole the show and have shown that they both have bright futures in Hollywood. The innocence of the love of the two characters was very charming and heartwarming, and they played their parts to perfection. The all-star supporting cast of adults also lent note-worthy performances, namely Edward Norton, Bill Maury, Frances McDormand and Bruce Willis. Wes Anderson Regular Jason Schwartzman was in the film briefly as well in a short but memorable role.
The basic idea and driving force behind the movie was to take a troupe of campers reminiscent to the Boy Scouts known as the Khaki Scouts and portray them as though they were in a real life army brigade. The device of having children play parts as though they are adults is brilliantly funny and is something Wes Anderson has used throughout his career most notably in Rushmore and The Fantastic Mr. Fox.
The performances, story, silly antics, charming characters and dark humor is all there, and if you're a Wes Anderson fan, this film is a must-see. Unfortunately, there are too many lengthy periods of time where the usual Wes charm is absent and it leaves you bored at times. That being said, this film still comes recommended by me.