4. "Moonrise Kingdom"
Wes Anderson built a career exploring
the childhood neuroses that keep adult characters in an arrested state of
adolescence. In "Moonrise Kingdom," he builds a film around the
troubled kids themselves: a pair of preteen misfits who run away together in a
romantic adventure that could have come from one of her beloved juvenile fantasy
novels. There's a great adult cast -- Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel, Tilda
Swinton, and especially Bruce Willis as a lonely island lawman who gets a second
chance -- but the film belongs to these restless kids. So many Anderson films
are constructed like Joseph Cornell boxes, self-contained little worlds
painstakingly constructed of delightful, defining details and delicious
flourishes. These kids break out of their boxes and the drag the rest of the
film with them into the world outside, even if it's just a tiny New England
island. A bigger box, yes, but the possibilities .... It's funny, playful, full
of nostalgic blasts and period textures, and most of all loving: accepting of
the headstrong kids determined to find their place in the world, forgiving of
the oblivious adults around them, affectionate in its storybook imagery.
Anderson plays with the conventions of puppy love, runaway adventure and
adolescent rebellion with a knowing sensibility, but he loves his characters
unconditionally, and his sincerity makes the film blossom. -- Sean
Bing: More about 'Moonrise Kingdom' | More on Edward Norton
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