Moonrise Kingdom (2012) - 8
During my childhood and early adolescence, I had the privilege to own an incredible aptitude for dreaminess. It was common to find myself daydreaming with riveting places, landscapes, people or music which made me outburst with feelings or emotions so different from everything else that I still don't know if there are words able to describe them. Those daydreams were the stage of the deepest love fantasies of my early adolescence. As I grew older, this aptitude weakened progressively and today my mind is so gripped to reality that I cannot disconnect and feel the blaze of other worlds anymore. Nowadays, I am blessed with such visceral experiences only, and by rare luck, during sleep. Unfortunately, I forget most dreams. Cinema and music are the only escapes able to relieve me from the absence of my childhood reveries, but, try as they might, the experiences they offer are rarely close to be as visceral and unique as those that my mind can induce myself into. Moonrise Kingdom is far from being such visceral experience, but it leaves me with faint nostalgia because the story portrayed features the same kind of platonic young love affair that I fantasized in my early adolescent digressions: a love adventure tale in a wistfully beautiful and stormy landscape. So far, this is my favorite Wes Anderson movie, it's the only one that graces me with a cinematic experience that comes remotely close to transfigure into a waking dream. I also think this is the most powerful expression of the oblique quality that distinguishes his movies from the others.
The offbeat pathos is apparent in the aesthetic polish and narrative sophistication of Moonrise Kingdom. Here is yet another fine example of Wes Anderson's predilection to whimsically deliberate his characters' behavioral profiles. The youths are the main characters in this story and are endowed with obvious adultlike mannerisms, the acting is not exemplary, but this actually adds to the charm and funniness of the young characters. One more time, I perceived a tendency to dissect an almost intangible quality from some human subjects, Sam Shakusky and Suzy Bishop don't seem to be absolutely inserted in who they are (supposed to be), their manners are not as raw and settled as reality would demand. Their personalities seem to balance precariously on a tightrope at the limit of their elusive definition, just like appears to be the case with other subjects in The Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore. But it is unreasonable to ask for such accomplished acting from kids or teenagers without any prior acting skills, so either this young couple of actors is monumentally talented or Wes Anderson is an expert at the art of crafting his characters by using actors as mere tools. Or maybe this fleeting and almost intangible quality I'm drooling about is nothing more than an illusion or wishful thinking of mine... and, in part, it probably is.
The wonderfully crafted cinematography and soundtrack enhance the dreamlike quality of the experience and contribute to forge different moods throughout the movie. Wes Anderson always reveals great musical taste in his movies, a quality I highly appreciate. The script and editing work are typically excellent and the camera work may be the most formal I've seen from Wes until now. Distractions come down to some poorly camouflaged CGI effects and little else. Once more, the story has a happy ending for the protagonists and yet again, the movie is more than just the story. In Moonrise Kingdom, more than the other Wes' works I've seen, the style itself adds to the substance and owns part of the appeal of the movie. Moonrise Kingdom is very easy to be enjoyed as a visceral, exciting and fun cinematic experience. I don't find it as hilarious as Rushmore, but I see it as a natural evolution of Wes Anderson's cinematic style. Wonderful movie, highly recommended!
Edited by kkl10 - 5/18/14 at 8:56am