Sep. 12, 2012 - Issue #882: Down On The Farm
Directed by Wes Anderson
Metro Cinema at the Garneau
September 1965, the New England island of Penzance. Decorated Khaki Scout Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) flees camp one morning, prompting his Scout Leader (Edward Norton) to organize a search in tandem with the island cop (Bruce Willis). Sam arranges to rendezvous with Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward), eldest daughter of two unhappily married lawyers (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand). Sam, with his survival kit, and Suzy, with her yellow suitcase, cat in a basket, library books, binoculars, portable record player and beloved Françoise Hardy LP, set out to make it on their own in some hidden cove, pubescent lovers on the run.
The kids are never annoyingly ingratiating; flat delivery is clearly the default mode and works wonderfully. Their stabs at adult stoicism are simultaneously funny and sincere. Likewise the well-cast adults exude far more than their characters can openly express, filling the story’s margins with an almost palpable sense of melancholy.
Capitalizing on the design-everything imperative of his animated film The Fantastic Mr Fox, director and co-scenarist Wes Anderson makes every home a dollhouse, every landscape a storybook spread, misted over to resemble old postcards. With great playfulness and narrative concision, Moonrise Kingdom weaves artifice and emotional gravity into a beautiful fable about being, to the core of one’s being, truly, hopelessly love-struck.
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