Postmortem: Moonrise Kingdom

I now pronounce you

Moonrise Kingdom, released on DVD last Tuesday, is the story of a twelve-year-old girl and boy who fall in love and run away together.

Also, it has Bill Murray and Bruce Willis. In the same movie. Just sayin’.

The girl is Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward), a “troubled child” who reads fantasy books and carries around a pair of binoculars because they give her a different perspective on the world. She’s mostly sweet and likable, and at one point stabs a dude with a pair of scissors. The boy is Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman), an orphan who learned his wilderness skills in the “Khaki Scouts.” He paints landscapes and nudes.

Separately, these two kids are a couple of losers. Together, they are fearless and unstoppable, a force of nature. When they flee their respective homes and camp out in the woods together, the police, the Scouts, and Suzy’s family all join in a massive search effort. Part of the fun is watching the adults scrambling to catch up with them, and to cope with the new reality they’ve created, just by deciding it: we are going to be together, and there’s nothing you can do to stop us.

Wes Anderson’s directing, so you know this won’t be Hollywood as usual. It isn’t. The word magic genuinely applies here: to the tenderness of the young lovers getting to know each other in the forest, to the surreal mix of the ordinary and the bizarre (like a bunch of Scouts marching in formation brandishing clubs and knives), to the crashing crescendo of storm and lightning that builds through the entire final act. Moonrise Kingdom is dark and beautiful, lovely and strange.

And again: Bruce Willis, Bill Murray. Same movie. Just puttin’ it out there.

You can watch the trailer right here.

What movies have you seen lately?

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