The Movie Waffler New Release Review - Moonrise Kingdom | The Movie Waffler

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New Release Review - Moonrise Kingdom

Directed by: Wes Anderson
Starring: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Jason Schwartzman

Adolescents Gilman and Hayward flee from their New England town, pursued by local sheriff Willis and scout leader Norton.

A Wes Anderson movie is a lot like Katy Perry, great to look at but painful to listen to. In this regard, "Moonrise Kingdom" is the ultimate Wes Anderson movie. Like the home of a spinster, it's meticulously maintained yet lacks human warmth. There are references to movies as disparate as "Shawshank Redemption" and "Eyes Wide Shut" but the story can best be described as a cross between "First Blood" and "The Blue Lagoon", Gilman and Hayward discovering their sexuality whilst hiding out in the local woods.
There's an air of smugness about Anderson and the other members of the East Coast indie clique (Noah Baumbach, Sofia Coppola et al) that makes his work impenetrable for many, this reviewer included. The characters who inhabit his world are deeply unlikable, usually moapy middle class types suffering from first world problems. Every line of dialogue, coupled with the mannered delivery of an otherwise impressive cast, is cringeworthy in it's pretension. If you met anyone in real life who spoke like Anderson characters you'd go out of your way to avoid them.
There's usually an element of chauvinism, his male characters are generally troubled intellectuals while the women are just troubled idiots. That's certainly the case with the two protagonists here, Gilman is smart way beyond his years while Hayward is a pretty but dumb girl who falls madly in love with him despite his coming across as a pretentious little git. I suspect Anderson was the victim of bullying in his schooldays, after all nobody likes a smartass, and this movie serves as a kind of revenge fantasy where he gets the girl and pummels his aggressors. 
Regular readers will be aware of how much of a bugbear the use of music in movies is with me. They're really the only two art forms which can complement one another yet while film can't enhance music, music can often enhance film. The use of Benjamin Britten lends this film a dignity it simply hasn't earned.
Visually this movie is mind blowing, the intricately designed sets blend beautifully with the stunning New England locations. Cinematographer Robert Yeoman provides a masterclass in framing, anyone with an interest in photography needs to see this. 
There's no denying Anderson has talent, I just wish he didn't make us remove our shoes before entering his home.
4/10

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