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Thursday, July 5, 2012


The wife and I took in Wes Anderson's latest effort at the local Cinema 1-2-3-4000, in a shoebox theater populated with grey-hairs such as ourselves, and after more than a half-hour of ads and previews were rewarded with a film of great imagination and, dare I say it, fun.

What's this movie like, or about ?  To me, it was like spending two hours in a comfy, rambling cottage by the sea.  What's it about ? And what do the reviewers say ? Glad you asked.

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times (3.5 stars) :
Wes Anderson's mind must be an exciting place for a story idea to be born. It immediately becomes more than a series of events and is transformed into a world with its own rules, in which everything is driven by emotions and desires as convincing as they are magical. "Moonrise Kingdom" creates such a world and takes place on an island that might as well be ruled by Prospero. It's set in 1965, though it might as well be set at any time.
Manohla Dargis of the New York Times (NYT Film Critics Choice) :

Like many of Mr. Anderson’s films, including his last one, the truly fantastic “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” there’s a deliberate, self-conscious once-upon-a-time quality to “Moonrise Kingdom.” From the minute the film opens, quickly settling on a needlepoint image of a house — a representation of the one in which Suzy lives, where it all begins — Mr. Anderson, who’s more fabulist than traditional realist, underscores the obvious point that you’re watching a story. This heightened sense of self-awareness is underscored by the exhilarating camera movements that sweep across the house from right to left, left to right, and up and down, and take you on a time and space tour through the house, past Suzy’s father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Bishop (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand, both touching).

Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly
Anderson hasn't lost his puckishly charming genius for cinema-as-diorama visuals. Yet a lot happens in this film, and not a lot of it matters. For some viewers, Moonrise Kingdom may be movie heaven, another bric-a-brac-jammed bauble to place alongside The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou and The Darjeeling Limited. Personally, though, I wish that Anderson would come out from under the glass, or at least change what he's doing under there. 

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