As awards season begins, indie movies like “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “Moonrise Kingdom” begin to garner more attention from even the mainstream public.
Nominated for Best Feature by the Independent Spirit Film Awards, having won a spot on AFI’s Top 10 Films of the Year and Best Independent Film by the National Board of Review, Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” is one of the most acclaimed indie movies of 2012.
Set on a picturesque island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, “Moonrise Kingdom” tells a story of the clashing worlds of childhood whimsy and grown-up reality.
On this perfect island, seemingly inhabited only by those who are directly involved in the story and after a series of love letters, two dysfunctional 12-year-old lovers run away together, and in doing so rip apart the guise of perfection and reveal a community of flawed and real characters.
The innocence of the two main characters, orphan Khaki Scout Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) and “troubled child” Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward,) makes their love for each other even sweeter.
As they trek across the beautiful island, with the help of Shakusky’s nature know-how and Suzy’s books, the couple takes an old Indian trail, ignorant of the giant storm coming their way.
Director Wes Anderson’s artistic touch is apparent throughout the film, even more so than in his past “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and “Rushmore.” The 60s glow that radiates from Anderson’s work makes his movies not only endearing and charming, but nostalgic.
The achingly honest performances of the two young first-time actors, Hayward (a member of Mensa) and Gilman take overshadow the adult cast of familiar faces like Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and a very melancholic Bill Murray. As elusive as Murray is, this is his fifth role in a Wes Anderson film (which is a good average, seeing as Anderson has only directed six films.)
This low-budget Focus Feature film is short (only 94 minutes long), but poignant in its very human story about love, coming-of-age and grown-up disappointment.