Director: Wes Anderson
Starring: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton
Short Summary: Two pre-teens inspired by first love attempt to run away from their small New England island town. Which causes a variety of colorful characters to form a search party to find them before an impending storm arrives.
Why It's A Must See Movie
I was torn between doing a Must See Movie post and an Indie Film Spotlight. Finding out that Moonrise Kingdom was on Netflix helped me out. It is both an indie film and a movie that must be seen. I have loved this movie since I saw it in theaters, and I've been telling people to watch it ever since.
What I like about Moonrise Kingdom is that it is so endearingly odd. Everything in it has just a little bit of quirky comedy added to it without it entering the realm of silliness. This is because the comedy in the film is truly character based. It comes from creating an array of odd characters and putting them in a situation where they must work together. I particularly like this type of comedy because it grounds a film in reality while allowing you to suspended reality at the same time. Thus, this film ends up being an experience akin to reading an fun adventure story. Which is another element I like about this movie. It takes you into a different world for awhile with it's semi-nonlinear story telling. By the way nonlinear story telling when used well like it is in this movie can be abundantly engaging and amusing.
I feel like Moonrise Kingdom is an excellent example of how to use the show and not tell concept. Most of the story is told with a surprisingly small amount of dialogue. It is a story predominately told with great acting, visuals, and clever uses of music and sound. It is an effective way of story telling that which in a way makes the film more of a visceral experience. Not that the movie doesn't use it's dialog excellently as well, because it does. It fact the dialogue is witty and amusing, but the moments of where the characters don't speak allow to you further appreciate the moments when they do. This movie that explores ideas about how young people and adults relate to situations and each other. In that case the subtext is just as important as the text.
I also enjoy that this movie is set in the 1960's and is shot in a way that reflects that. It's a modern film that looks like an old movie. I love how Moonrise Kingdom uses camera movements, lighting, and visual texture to express this idea. I think it is awesome that the costumes and make up choices say so much about the characters in the movie. I love when all the choices in a movie service the story and this movie does that well.
If you haven't seen Moonrise Kingdom I suggest giving it a try. I think a lot of people can find it enjoyable or at least respect it's creative story telling.