It’s a film about the Tenenbaum family. Enough said, really.
This is still my favourite Wes Anderson film. It’s got all the strangeness in character and plot, all the beauty in the art direction and cinematography and all the humour, heart and tragedy that I love in these films.
Three brothers go to India to bond after their father passes away. Little do Peter (Adrien Brody) and Jack (Jason Schwartzman) know that Francis (Owen Wilson) has planned to find their long-lost mother, Patricia (Anjelica Huston).
I love this film, but why? Three selfish rich white boys go to India with all their privilege because they can. I should hate this. Yet I don’t. I don’t hate the clumsy baggage metaphor or the way the women are dismissed or the way even when they don’t get what they want, they get through.
In a fictional future Japan, a cat loving dictator exiles all dogs to an island. One young boy goes on a mission to save his dog.
I really wanted to like this film. It’s beautiful and sweet and the animation is adorable, and I’m a bit of a Wes Anderson fan. But. So many problems. There’s a bit of cultural issues (my key one being the one non-dog and non-Japanese character – felt a bit “Thank god there’s an American to save the day”). Then there are the female characters. On the surface, there almost seem to be a couple of semi-decent females, just don’t look too close. Especially at the dogs. Apparently, female dogs are small breeds with pretty hair, whereas male dogs are big and strong. Perhaps someone needs to tell Wes that dogs don’t work that way. I just wish films would do better.
Suzy lives with her family in a mansion at one part of an island called New Penzance. Sam is part of the Khaki Scout summer camp that is based at another part of the island. Neither fit well into their environment, and when they meet, they find in each other a like mind. They run away together with the threat of a massive storm.
Wes Anderson polarizes audiences with his style. I fall into the side that loves his work.
The Royal Tennenbaums was a beautiful and amazing emotional journey and The Darjeeling Limited took a part of my heart. It took a second, and maybe even a third watch of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou for me to grow to love it, and I think that Moonrise Kingdom is like that for me.
I will need to walk away for a while, think about it, perhaps forget about it, and watch it again in six months or so. Then, perhaps, I will love it.
As it stands at the moment, it has elements of the other films that I loved which made it feel a bit like a greatest hits. Suzy had the style and the dark eye make-up of Gwyneth Paltrow’s character in the Tennenbaums, and the introduction to the house was reminiscent of the introduction to the submarine in Life Aquatic.
Moonrise Kingdom has, as Anderson always does, a marvelous cast.
It is always wonderful to see Bill Murray, but this film also had the bonus of Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel, Jason Schwartzman and the always-wonderful Frances McDormand. On top of this, the new talent in the Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman as the young runaways.
Ask me again when it’s come out on DVD. By then, I’ll probably love it. For the moment, however, it’s far from my favourite Wes Anderson film, but still a film well and truly worth seeing.
Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola were nominated for an Oscar for Writing (Original Screenplay)