By Megan Bianco
Nearly every year, the film industry delivers an indie sleeper with wit and charm. In recent years, it was Juno (2007) and (500) Days of Summer (2009). This year, it’s Wes Anderson’s latest, Moonrise Kingdom. After the success of the stop-motion family adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), Anderson is back to his retro, quirky live-action style with an all-star cast, a Boy Scout camp and young, true love.
In a tiny New England town, 12-year-old orphan Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) runs away from summer camp to secretly meet up with pen pal and crush Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) on a secluded island. However, Suzy’s parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand), the camp counselor (Edward Norton), the town sheriff (Bruce Willis) and social services (Tilda Swinton) are on the search for them in no time.
Moonrise Kingdom is almost like a mixture of the films Anderson has made so far, and yet original and experimental. He and co-writer Roman Coppola create a story about kids without making it too gimmicky and pull it off breathlessly. Newcomers Gilman and Hayward lead the film just fine, and Willis, Norton and Swinton don’t allow their A-list status overwhelm their performances. Anderson regulars Murray and Jason Schwartzman mark their fifth and sixth film, respectively, with the filmmaker, and really, they’re only the cherry on top of the sundae for this film.