If you’ve ever been to (and enjoyed) a night at Baby Love then, chances are, you’ll enjoy Moonrise Kingdom, the new film from ‘Supreme Leader of the Hipsters’, Wes Anderson. The film follows two runaway 12 year-olds, determined to escape their captivity (from parents like Bill Murray and Frances McDormand and Head Khaki Scout, Ed Norton) and find romantic bliss in the wilds of Anderson’s imagined New England archipelago. The whole thing is imbued with the same fizzing absurdist streak that marks out Anderson’s films, particularly his sort-of-for-children/sort-of-for-adults adaptation of Fantastic Mister Fox.
The film won’t be to everyone’s tastes and the deadpan humour does consume some of the more heartfelt moments but the film is, fundamentally, a sweet story of pre-adolesent love, driven by two fantastic performances from the young leads. Whilst the film does rotate around their flight, Anderson’s grown-ups (Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzmann to name but three) get their time in the sun, delivering their performances with the same stoney faced seriousness as Bob Balaban’s bizarrely charming narrator.
Moonrise Kingdom is clearly not for everyone and the results might be quite polarizing. But I found the movie to be a near perfect demonstration of where twee, indie cinema can go when it is not governed by auteurial ego (I’m looking at you, Miranda July). Beautifully brought together and performed, this little piece of whimsy should be essential viewing for anyone who’s bored of the multiplexes being choked up with The Avengers, Battleship and Piranha 3DD.