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Moonrise Kingdom is the new movie directed by two-time Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore). Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two 12-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore – and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in every which way. Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff, Captain Sharp. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader, Scout Master Ward. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray the young girl’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bishop. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Bob Balaban; and introduces Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as Sam and Suzy, the boy and girl.
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Suzy, played by Kara Howard lives with her family on this island. She seems to be the 'difficult' one in the family. On the same island is a Boy Scout camp, where Sam, played by Jared Gilman, an orphan, also seems to be the odd man out. No one seems to like him, and strangely he and Suzy met last summer and have planned a rendezvous to run away together. This sets the wheels in motion for an adolescence hunt by some very strange people. Bill Murray plays Suzy's father, and Frances McDormand plays her mother. Any film with McDormand amd Murray is sure to be a great one. We also have Bruce Willis playing the Island Policeman, Scoutman Ward payed by Ed Norton, and SocialServices played by Tilda Swinton. All these characters lead to an often time humorous film that deals with the turmoil of adolescence, the goodness of scouting, and the trials and tribulations of life.
This film is all played with straight faces, none for laughs, and the children are as superb as the adults. Wes Anderson has put together a film for us all, shining examples of life as we remember it.
Recommended. prisrob 01-05-13
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
We were not disappointed. It was strange, and beautiful, and extremely cute, if occasionally disturbing. Equal parts dark and uplifting, the cast was superb, the camera work was deliberate, well thought out and occasionally brilliant. The effects budget was obviously small, which resulted in an emphasis on storytelling that I found refreshing. For better or worse, it seemed more stage than cinema. My wife's reaction was "That was great but I'm kinda glad I didn't see it in the theater."
I found the story itself addressed a number of deeper issues, from social justice, to depression, to marital strife, responsibility, parenting and small town life. It addressed these issues seriously, but often using the viewpoint of a child, though I would be aware that some of the themes may require a good deal of explanation to be understood or appropriate for younger children.
The movie is definitely worth watching as a primer on finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, both in terms of people and places. Go and enjoy it!