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Watching Wes Anderson’s films to me is always a bit hit-and-miss. I remember that I liked Rushmore, even though I have no recollection about the film whatsoever; The Royal Tenenbaum’s I found to be over-styled and under-written; in Darjeeling Limited I liked the setting and the atmosphere, but again, have no memory of what was going on. Mr Fox looks like a nice experiment in adult animated film-making, but it drags along, and the voice acting felt somehow too melancholic and mellow, with too much chattering and not enough dynamics, I think the whole experiment was “slightly boring, in kind of a fun way”.

Now Moonrise Kingdom starts in a way that made me think “here we go, that’s how you start a story”. I watched the first minutes and was completely glued! Surreal images of family live, a set design that bounces off the walls of Clockwork Orange and Twilight Zone (mostly leaning toward the latter), immediately establishing the weirdness of the characters we are about to meet. At the film’s center are two almost non-annoying kids, a boy scout nerd and a girl that hates her family conformity. These two have good chemistry, and the comedic love-drama that evolves is sparkled with great casting choices (Harvey Keitel, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, to name the more famous ones), and also with the courage to be silly, to inject slapstick, innocent eroticism, adventure and violence, where necessary. I did not manage to keep up my attention for the full 90 minutes, there were some passages where I felt a bit let down, most notably after the opening sequence, when there was a threat of a the film moving over into “normal” territory. But all in all, this is – after “Mr Fox” – the second example of Anderson crossing lines between children’s adventures and adult film-making, in a way that produces a family film for the slightly more curious and liberal families. This may be the niche Anderson has discovered for himself? We will see with his next projects.

One interesting aspect (if interesting only for the way my brain works): It is the first time I saw a movie with Bruce Willis and only realised upon reading the end credits that it was him.


  1. This has been a highly regarded film in the eyes of a lot of people this year, but I personally couldn’t get into it. I can understand and appreciate the artistic aspects of what Anderson was trying to do, but I couldn’t get engaged with what was going on.

    Good review.

  2. I agree: appreciation, sometimes admiration I can conjure up, but I never love and get into what Anderson does.

  3. It’s a mystery to me why but I just seem to connect to Wes Anderson films on an emotional level. This film was no exception. I loved it, one of the better films I have seen this year. Maybe it was Bill Murray’s madras pants.

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