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Moonrise Kingdom - Film Review

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by Mieka Black (subscribe)
I'm a writer/blogger living in Adelaide, check my blog out at
Published September 3rd 2013

Moonrise Kingdom is a quirky and witty romantic comedy-drama film directed by Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums). Written by both Anderson and Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom is an unusual and yet adorable story about young love.

Set in 1965 on a seemingly idyllic New England Island called New Panzance, the story follows a twelve year old orphan named Sam Shakusky(portrayed by Jared Gilman) and the little black sheep, metaphorically speaking; Suzy Bishop(portrayed by Kara Hayward). The pair meet during the summer of 1964 at their church performance of Noye's Fludde, where Suzy plays the Raven. It's here that we see Sam express interest and Suzy's friends give him her address, allowing the two to become pen pals.

It's during their written correspondence that the two children fall in love and make plans to reunite with one another and run away. The film's characters are poignant and interesting and even at such a young age Gilman and Hayward truly express some fine chemistry.

The film itself feels as though it's meant to be an adult story. Sam and Suzy are introverted and very mature for their age, their dialog is seemingly blasť and witty; yet not the manner of which you picture two twelve year olds having.

The sex scene within this movie; if you can even call it that; screams of inexperience and gives a understanding and acknowledgement to how old the two really are. It's a deep contrast to what they are in reality and what they wish they were. Moonrise Kingdom is on the surface a search and rescue story with underlining romantic aspects and yet in truth we see it more as a coming of age tale in which we see two children reaching that gate into puberty and experiencing adult sentiments for the first time.

The film itself can appear a little boring; I would suggest it to someone who is looking for a laid back, chilled out film. If you're a fan of Wes Anderson's previous work than this is absolutely a must see. There are some surprising appearances from Bruce Willis, Bill Murray and Edward Norton, all in roles that we've never really seen them in before. It's a whimsical film that shows us the diversity of the actors appearing in it.

Moonrise Kingdom is an acquired taste but a must see for indie film lovers.

Movie Length: 94 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama
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Why? An unusual Indie love story
When: Anytime
Where: Rent or buy
Cost: Prices vary
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