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Film: Moonrise Kingdom

By Patrick Phillips
On September 22, 2012

This past summer was filled with more monumental blockbusters than any other with Marvel's The Avengers, The Amazing Spider Man and, of course, Batman: the Dark Knight Rises. While these movies were all great in their own right, this past summer conceived one of the most brilliantly powerful and entertaining films I have ever seen: Moonrise Kingdom. With a cast consisting of Bruce Willis (Die Hard Trilogy), Bill Murray (Ghostbusters), Edward
Norton (The Illusionist) and Frances McDormand (Fargo), it
would be hard to imagine Moonrise Kingdom not being a crowd-pleaser. However, these critically acclaimed actors take a back seat, while young Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward (making her debut) take the wheel, and what a sweet, tender ride it is. Written and directed by Wes
Anderson, (most known for Fantastic Mr. Fox and the quirky
Life Aquatic) Moonrise Kingdom is appealing both visually and stylistically. Instead of using multiple camera shots for each scene, Anderson uses a slide-camera technique, giving the film a bookish feel that draws the audience's
attention even more. The movies soundtrack plays another major role in amplifying the mood and lightheartedness of the film. It is a love story that follows an orphan named Sam (Gilman) as he runs away from camp with Suzy (Hayward), a troubled child. As they travel through the woods, they find love, innocence and a place of their own. The film so powerfully plays upon the juxtaposition between childish innocence and adult worry. Gilman and Hayward are flawless; they are the perfect on-screen pair. Hayward does an excellent job remaining stoic and playing the "problem child" with seriousness, making the moments when
the two characters feel a connection truly poignant and touching. Gilman is the most likeable child actor I've ever seen on screen. Anderson knew what he was looking for in Sam. Gilman embodies the intelligent, mature yet lost youth Sam needs to be as he tries to find a place to call his
own with the only person he truly feels a connection to at his side. It is still playing at the Esquire Movie Theater in Ludlow, so make sure you catch it before it heads out. Student tickets are only $6.75. I cannot rave more about a
film as I can Moonrise Kingdom. It is undoubtedly one of the most touching films I have ever seen. Thank you, Wes Anderson.


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