Staff Review/ Moonrise Kingdom

Cornerhouse LiveWire Young Film Critic James Martin reviews Moonrise Kingdom

Cannes fever has died down, Amour has won (the second Palme D’Or for that giant of world cinema, Michael Haneke) and all that remains for us to do now is wait patiently for the vast range of gems to dribble into our cinemas throughout the upcoming months. To whet our appetites early, this brilliant new oddity from Wes Anderson is now released, only a week or so after its premiere on the opening night of the Cannes Film Festival.

Aside from its incredible cast (including the likes of Bruce Willis, Ed Norton, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel and Frances McDormand) and its famous director, I knew absolutely nothing about this movie when I sat down to see it in the cinema. I have watched the trailer since, and it appears to me that this is the kind of the film that delivers exactly what it promises – a quirky, funny, deeply eccentric and beautifully filmed piece of cinema, blending experimentation with reverential homage in its editing and storytelling.

I will not mention anything specific about plot in this review; to do so would be to perhaps lessen the impact of surprise when viewing, and detract from appreciating the witty spins on classic storylines that are offered here. Safe to say,the story in itself is not particularly original, or even insightful from any new or fresh prospective (although I would be doing the film a disservice if I said it didn’t have some emotional depth and satire). What must be savoured here, however, is the presentation and execution of that material – with what confidence, intense strangeness but immaculate care and precision Wes Anderson tells his story.

Thus, Moonrise Kingdom, drenched in saturated colours, matching its saturation in ideas and pure abnormality, is a film buff’s delight – a concise and wacky piece of entertainment containing exceptional acting and some breathtakingly beautiful sequences. I recommend it with great enthusiasm, and can’t wait to see more of the same quality in filmmaking from the 2012 Cannes catalogue later this year.