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Moonrise Kingdom - Film Review

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Moonrise Kingdom is a kind of offbeat Romeo and Juliet (without the dramatic consequences).

It's set in 1965 in a small island in New England and follows the story of 12 year olds Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) and Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) who meet, fall in love and run away together.

moonrise kingdom
The star-crossed lovers are the stars of Moonrise Kingdom


What are they running from? Well, she doesn't really fit in with her family (she finds a book her parents have about how to deal with a troubled child she's the oldest sibling and has violent tendencies) and he is an orphan whose scout troop just doesn't like him and whose foster family can't deal with him anymore.

From the start Moonrise Kingdom is set up as a quirky tale.

There's a narrator (Bob Balaban) who's a cute old man in a red coat, beanie and pants that are an inch or two too short; children using abruptly direct language that's completely out of place for them; and Suzy's mother (Frances McDormand) who calls her four kids to dinner on a megaphone.

Edward Norton is brilliant as the scout master who sets his troops off to find the missing kids.

Bruce Willis, who plays the island's police officer, and McDormand (a favourite of mine since Almost Famous) are wonderful too.

But Moonrise Kingdom is left up to the kids to tell a lot of the story. And while they're not bad actors, they're not in the class of their adult co-stars.

If you know any of director Wes Anderson's other films (a lot of which also star Bill Murray) you'll have some idea of what to expect.

I hoped for greatness like Anderson's offbeat The Royal Tenenbaums (the bizarre family tale starring Gwenyth Paltrow, Gene Hackman and Owen Wilson). But I didn't get it.

Not bad, but not brilliant.

Three stars (thanks to laughs early on).

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Why? it's kinda quirky
Where: cinemas everywhere
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