Moonrise Kingdom (DVD)

2 Jan

Synopsis: In this Golden Globe Nominated quirky comedy, set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two twelve-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore — and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in more ways than anyone can handle. Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray the young girl’s parents. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as the boy and girl.


Jared Gilman………………..Sam Shakusky

Kara Hayward….………………Suzy Bishop

Bruce Willis………………….Captain Sharp

Edward Norton…Scout Master Randy Ward

Bill Murray……………………..Walt Bishop

Frances McDormand…………..Laura Bishop

Tilda Swinton….……………..Social Services

Jason Schwartzman………………Cousin Ben

Harvey Keitel…………….Commander Pierce

Bob Balaban…………………………Narrator

Seamus Dave Fitzpatrick…………..Roosevelt

Review:  Wes Anderson has dreamed up a ficticious Island that is inhabited by a quirkey bunch of offbeat characters. It is 1965, a twelve year old Khaki Scout Sam Shakusky, (Jared Gilman) leaves his scout camp and wonders off to find his true love Suzy Bishop, (Kara Hayward). The two of them go AWOL and this leaves the entire Island in an uproar. Captain Sharp, (Bruce Willis) and Scout Master Randy Ward, (Edward Norton) go on a search to find them. Everyone is worried about Suzy because Sam is an orphan so therefore he is mentaly disturbed. This is a given in the small minds of the community. Sam has trouble making friends as does Suzy and that is there bond.

The color of the film is reminiscent of old 1960’s home movie color, this gives the film its’ character and other-worldy appearance. Narrator, (Bob Balaban) is the Island’s historian and cartoghrapher. He tells the story as a flashback, including an inside reference to Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters. Balaban is standing in front of the police station as Suzy’s parents, Khaki Scouts and Master are arguing over where the children ran off to. Balaban interupts them by saying, “Excuse me, excuse me!”  They all turn around, ‘I teach cartography and Sam was in my class, I know exactly where they went.” Shades of Close Encounters.

Tilda Swinton plays “Social Sevices” and wants to take Sam to an institution, Harvey Keitel plays Khaki Scout Commander Pierce and his portrayal of self importance is hilarious. Bill Murry plays Walt Bishop, Suzy’s dad. Murry has a sadness in the way he approaches his characters, it his perhaps his weariness that his wife Laura, (Frances McDormand) is unhappy and has been having secret meetings with Captain Sharp, (Willis).  He is understated and empathetic, his performance is the direct opposite of his manic characters he played on SNL. He has without a doubt matured as a actor. He was always brilliant this portrayal is no exception. Edward Norton as the scout Master is played with tongue firmly impanted in cheek. Norton, in short, was terrific in the role.

The best cinema takes you away into flights of fancy, interesting story telling, compelling images and most of all human emotion. This film does all those things and makes you laugh along the way. I enjoyed its’ sense of humor and style. Thank you Wes Anderson for this delightful adventure with a nod to childhood.

The film now nominated for the Golden Globe’s  Best Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical, is available on Netflix, at the RedBox or for purchase on Amazon.

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One Response to “Moonrise Kingdom (DVD)”

  1. Bill Squier January 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    It’s always fun to see a bunch of very recognizable film stars as characters that are very different from the ones they usually play! But, I think the kids really stole the film!

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