31 March 2013

Moonrise Kingdom


Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
  • Director: Wes Anderson
  • Based on Book: No
  • Cast: Frances MacDormand, Bruce Willis. Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • Frances McDormand – Fargo, Burn After Reading, North Country, The Man Who Wasn’t There, Almost Famous, Palookaville, Beyond Rangoon, Barton Fink, Mississippi Is Burning
    • Bruce Willis – Tears of the Sun, Friends, Sixth Sense, Breakfast of Champions, Twelve Monkeys, Die Hard, Pulp Fiction, In Country
    • Edward Norton: The Invention of Lying, Kingdom of Heaven, Frida, Fight Club, American History X
    • Bill Murray – Darjeeling Limited, Broken Flowers, Lost in Translation, The Royal Tenenbaums, Hamlet, Cradle Will Rock, Rushmore, Ed Wood, Groundhog Day, What About Bob?, Ghostbusters
    • Tilda Swinton – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Burn After Reading, Michael Clayton, Broken Flowers, Adaption, The Beach, Orlando
  • Why bought: Rave reviews, sounded good, good cast
  • Seen: December 23, 2012


This movie got rave reviews in Sweden: “magic”, “delightfully goofy”, “fantastic adventure”, “thoroughly charming”…It sounded so good that we were actually at the point of clicking on “buy tickets” but something came up, time passed and we never made it to the movie theater. No matter. We bought the DVD.
After this build-up it will probably come as no surprise that it was a big disappointment.
In the first place I kept falling asleep – not in itself an insult, as often mentioned on this blog I have slept through some of the best movies ever made – but it certainly didn’t help in trying to figure out what was going on. Even when I was awake I had to keep asking Hal to rewind (no, that’s wrong, you don’t rewind DVDs but you know what I mean) because he hadn’t caught it either. They talked so fast, jumped from scene to scene with such jerks that we just couldn’t keep up. This can work sometimes, but it didn’t here.
But the main problem was the dead pan staccato, self-conscious “isn’t this a cute way of making a movie” stylized formula.  It wasn’t a question of telling a good story (which it was) in the best way. It was a question of “I have a cool, goofy idea of how to tell a story.” The form oppressed the content – also not automatically a bad thing.  Clearly my fellow Swedes loved it. It didn’t work for me.
What I did like about it was the fantastic house Bill Murray and Frances McDormand lived in and the use of music. The best part was after the credits when the voice-over of the girl? boy? couldn’t tell which – presented each instrument as it appeared in the orchestral piece.
Maybe if I’d never heard of the movie before so I’d no expectations, maybe next time (I’ll probably watch it again someday) when I know what to expect, my rating would have been/will be higher but right now it’s not the 5* of 5 I’d hope for but

2 * of 5.

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