Moonrise Kingdom is a fairytale; a rose tinted look at the past, with the usual Wes Anderson style. There will be those who will criticise the 2012 release for its lack of reality or depth, but they will have misunderstood Anderson’s point – it is about the optimistic outlook that only youth brings. While it may not soar to the heights of Rushmore or The Life Aquatic, it still fits nicely beside The Royal Tenenbaums in the grand hall of Wes Anderson movies-and what more could you ask for?
Set in 1960s New England, the film sees Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward play Sam and Suzy, two young lovers who run away from their unhappy lives. Hot on their heels is a search party consisting of Sam’s Scout Master (Edward Norton), Suzy’s bickering parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) and the local police officer (Bruce Willis). Along the way all involved learn life lessons and a way of dealing with their constrained existences.
On a tonal level, Moonrise Kingdom sits between Rushmore and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. It’s a whimsical tale about young love that manages to find the right balance between quirky comedy/adventure and coming of age drama.
In the film, Bruce Willis shakes off years of on-screen malaise to show us that there is still a wonderful actor lurking beneath that tough guy persona. This image shows Willis taking direction from Wes Anderson on the set of the film.
Moonrise Kingdom grossed $45 million at the US box office and $68 million globally from a $16 million budget.