Moonrise Kingdom Summary: run to see this movie. Best action/adventure flick of the year.
Okay, so I have been out of touch with pop culture for the past ten weeks or so. Last time I went to the movies I saw the trailer for Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Prior to that I did see Hunger Games, which I liked – but all summer I have been in the wilderness of the Cherokee National Forest and environs. Hiking. Nodding off to sleep by the light of the campfire…..living away from the grid. Not just going without TV, but no phone or internet. Drinking water that came from the ground, not from a faucet. Going for as long a thirty-six hours without seeing other persons. On those days when there were people at the shelter, recapturing the art of conversation with total strangers around a picnic table at some remote location.
Because of this, I am hopelessly out of touch. Never did see the Lincoln movie….. reliable people told me that once you saw the trailer you could skip the actual movie. It was nice to go to the movies again.
Yes. this is the category if you ask me. You don’t need to blow up more and more stuff or kill a bunch of people in exotic ways, to qualify – and as a matter of fact, those movies that just go from one stunt to another are boring after awhile. I strongly dislike violent movies. Seen too much of the result in real life.
Okay, so I admit that I never gave Wes Anderson much thought. I saw Darjeeling Limited, which I liked because it was filmed in Rajasthan… but have never seen any of his other movies. Until now.
The Best Movies
The best movies are the ones which completely transport you to another time and place. Latcho Drom was one such – a movie about the Rom people – also known as gypsies. The Cup was another great one – sure, it had a plot, but it was fascinating to watch scenes such as how they make dinner in a Tibetan monastery. Amelie. Then of course, Slumdog Millionaire. Oh sure, there have been mainstream movies that met this- such as The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, but I have to admit, my taste runs toward foreign movies or what might be called “art house” flicks. My all time favorite movie? Casablanca with Bogart and Bergman.
The spirit of New England. Norman Rockwell. The Boy Scouts. (oops, the khaki scouts)
Being a native New Englander, and having been an Eagle Scout, and being the official bugler….deciding I wanted to camp with girls instead of a bunch of twelve year old boys – if you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you already know that much about me. You may not also know that I own a Davy Crockett hat, (“coonskin cap”) complete with raccoon tail (gift from my daughter) – but – I do, and it was
a delight to see the hero of the movie wearing one. And so for me this movie evoked a personal sense of wonderment. I love the coast of New England, with all its quirks. It’s not just the geography I am talking about here. It’s the way the buildings are, the way the people act, and the way the society runs. The minute detail given to props and background is letter perfect. People in New England are every bit as unique and wonderful as an Amazonian tribe, it’s just that there is no warpaint or feathered costume. The customs are a bit more subtle, and easy to take for granted. Here is a movie that shows the time and place quite well.Boy Scouts? Khaki Scouts?
I suppose for legal reasons, they could not call it the Boy Scouts, but this movie captured the tone of scouts exactly on pitch. I started Boy Scouts in 1966, the year after the fictional setting of this movie. The movie was set in Maine I suppose – Maine has the bulk of the islands in New England – though they never pinned it down; the final credits said it was filmed in Rhode Island. The credits also indicated that Wes Anderson’s dad was a scout leader and the film was dedicated to him. It’s so easy to make fun of the Boy Scouts, and Anderson’s glee was obvious. I actually thought the scouts were treated with just the right mix of respect, satire and humor, and the scene in the treehouse reflected well on the moral development of young men. ahhhhh…… joy! Somewhere I still have my merit badge sash. To think of it makes me smile. Was I really just as nerdy as the main character in the movie? Any boy who has survived the age of thirteen can answer that question for himself.
Emotional subplot, motivation, etc
These are key to any story. The characters walked a very delicate line in this regard. The adult characters were three-dimensional, and Bruce Willis was astounding given his previous action/adventure roles. To get great actors such as Harvey Keitel into small character roles was brilliant. I thought that they were believable and delicious.
On a personal note, my interest is always picqued when I see a certain shade of radiant coppery-colored red hair – very few such persons here in Hawaii. I howled with wonderment and delight that the main heroine, as well as the one who plays “Social Services,” were crowned this way . OMG.
The filmmaker was sufficiently confident as to make small references to other films as a sort of inside joke. For example, a scene where the heroine poses for a provocative sketch in her underwear, ala Titanic. Dancing on the beach (my family owned a “hi-fi” just like the one in the movie…) just like in Risky Business. A chase scene out of Indiana Jones. The phrase uttered by the young hero just before he is struck by lightning.
In summary, just a delightful film. My nomination for best film of 2012. Go see it.