Home Film & TV Netflix Pick of the Week: ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ (2012)

Netflix Pick of the Week: ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ (2012)

by Stephen Dominguez

Let me be up front from the get-go. I adore Moonrise Kingdom.

Kara Hayward stars as Suzy and Jared Gilman stars as Sam in Wes Anderson's MOONRISE KINGDOM, a Focus Features release.

Kara Hayward stars as Suzy and Jared Gilman stars as Sam in Wes Anderson’s MOONRISE KINGDOM, a Focus Features release.

That might not seem like much of a controversial statement, but director Wes Anderson has received criticism that his previous works were too gimmicky and too quirky for the average moviegoer. While that may be true, I believe his gimmicks and quirks work for the best within this particular movie. The cinematography, the color palette, and the attention to detail all blend smoothly to give this movie a quiet charm. It is also an accomplishment that Wes Anderson can effortlessly make actors such as Bruce Willis and Edward Norton look like decent people to work with. But none of these reasons quite encapsulate why you should watch this movie.

“We’re in love. We just want to be together. What’s wrong with that?”

Moonrise Kingdom at its core is a story of two odd and troubled kids, Sam Shakusky and Suzy Bishop (Jared Gilman & Kara Hayward), who are trying to find their way through the adult world, while simultaneously recreating it in their own image. This is no more self-evident than in the title itself. The Moonrise Kingdom in question was a tidal inlet found by Sam and named from Suzy’s love for fantasy novels, forming a synthesized space where they can just be themselves together. The movie is not condescending of their troubles, instead, it sympathizes with the problems of both the adolescents and the adult world that they believe has failed them.

I suppose that’s why I adore this movie so much. As a former odd and troubled kid myself, I know that this is the movie that I would have wanted to see during those confusing years of adolescence.

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