Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson’s new film (co-written with Roman Coppola) has opened the 65th Cannes Film Festival. It’s set in 1965, on a fictional New England island called New Penzance. It stars Bill Murray as Mr Bishop, who lives in a converted lighthouse, and Frances McDormand as Mrs Bishop. Their daughter, Suzy (Kara Hayward) is a rebel, and finds a friend in Sam (Jared Gilman), an orphan. The two run away, instigating a search. It also features Bruce Willis as a policeman, Tilda Swinton as a social security officer, and Edward Norton.
Read about the Cannes film festival on Periscope Post
Anderson divides people
It’s a “canny maneuver,” said Richard Porton on The Daily Beast, to open Cannes with Anderson. It’s an arty film with “populist appeal.” His films are “highly personal” yet “visually alluring,” and Moonrise Kingdom, though “far from a masterpiece,” is definitely a hugely “respectable opening choice” than, say, Da Vinci Code. Yet Wes Anderson still polarises critics – some think he’s original, others twee. It’s not the “relatively banal narrative” that makes the film, but the director’s “flair for oddball details.” And the film is tinged with melancholy – Vietnam lurks just around the corner.
A mood elevator of a movie
David Gritten on The Telegraph said it was “something of a return” for Anderson. The island community is typical of Anderson, and his “gifts are evident from the dazzling first sequence.” Interestingly, Anderson uses Benjamin Britten as his score. The ending might be “faintly messy and rushed”, but it’s still a “mood elevator of a movie.”
What Anderson sees in America
It has “sweetness, sadness and charm,” said Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian, “an evocation of young love in a younger, more innocent America.” His films occupy their own “weirdly regressive, faintly dysfunctional space”, and this is no exception. He’s no David Lynch: he sees beneath America “something exotic but practical and self-possessed.” Britten’s music is “an interesting assertion of the Angl0-Sazon character of this parochial, islanded corner of America.” The film has “elegance and formal brilliance”, and whilst it “may be nothing more than a soufflé of strangeness,” it certainly “rises superbly.”
Weighty issues, but lacks passion?
There are “weightier issues at hand,” said Film School Rejects: “parental neglect, of revolution.” It’s about “two storms” – a “real monsoon”, and “the storm in a teacup of the young leads’ burgeoning and forbidden relationship.” It’s “hugely charming,” and the “sexual awakening scene” serves “a wider purpose.” Hitflix was less impressed: Anderson lavishes love on his films – but there is “precious little passion.”
Watch the trailer and decide for yourself
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