Archive for August, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

August 17, 2012

On the 4th of July I schlepped up to the AFI theater in Silver Spring to see Moonrise Kingdom. Do you know how many people go to matinees on the 4th? Certainly many more than I’d expect. I also just watched it for a second time at the more accessible E Street Cinema downtown.

Wes Anderson didn’t stray too far from his formula, which I’m starting to think may be coming up a bit thin. Depressed, distant, orphaned outsiders? They’re here! Kids who act like adults, and adults that act like kids? You Betcha! Random quirky scenes to act as decorations for Anderson’s intricately arranged little world? Don’t worry, you can see Bill Murray both fiddle around with a kid’s motorcycle and make cryptic, shirtless threats.

Moonrise Kingdom is the newest model of Wes Anderson dollhouse: a very meticulous, self-enclosed little world that we get a chance to peer into. But it sometimes seemed a bit too cluttered. Too much cute without the depth of his earlier movies.

It did not tug at my heartstrings and overwhelm me with great scenery and music as Life Aquatic did, and it was not as heartwarming and downright fun as Fantastic Mr. Fox. The love story between the two kids—the guts of the movie—was really wonderful though, especially the scene where they’re dancing at the beach. It also did an admirable job of making me reminisce about being 12 years old, and then promptly making me rather depressed at the realization that I will never be that age again. But at the end of it, I felt empty. It doesn’t leave me with much.

I love Wes Anderson’s movies. I’ve seen them all, re-watch them frequently, and will surely continue to do so as long as he keeps making films. But I can’t help but be a bit disappointed at this point. He really isn’t moving the ball down the field; I don’t see him really progressing as a director. For now, that’s fine, though I don’t know how I’ll feel about it four movies from now if he goes on like this.