Moonrise Kingdom

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So…where to start?

Hmmmm…

On the positive side, I REALLY enjoyed the trailer for the latest film by quirky director, Wes Anderson.

On the negative side, this is easily one of the most boring movies I have ever seen.

I don’t get it. A lot of people obviously do but I don’t. Wes Anderson is the reigning king of the art house world. With critics favorites such as “Rushmore,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” no one gets the artsy-fartsy blood flowin’ like Anderson. And I kinda get that. I remember when I was in college and taking some film courses. My professors showed us some pretty odd stuff that was considered to be “art.” What is the definition of art though? Many critics like to describe Anderson’s work as “art.” Well….if art is boring and flat, then I guess this IS art.

There are so many things I didn’t like about this film. As with the few other movies by Anderson that I have seen, it just wasn’t entertaining to me. The story itself was slow in pacing. The characters were dull and not that interesting and the music/soundtrack was just odd enough to put me off. Granted, it’s 1965 in New England but still…

The storyline goes like this…2 young kids who are unhappy with their lives run off together. There is a search to find them. They are found and torn apart. What happens next? I’ll let you decide if you want to find out or not. Here’s the thing…the 2 young lovers are played by 2 actors who have ZERO personality. Is this acting or is this just a lack of experience? I do’t know. But throughout most of the film, she is staring blankly at the camera and he appears to be reciting lines from a textbook. As a matter of fact, ALL the child actors (I call them kids because I imagine none of them are over the age of 13) are bad actors. Why they were chosen is beyond me but they all have roles that require SOME acting and there is very little of it here. I haven’t seen acting this bad since Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino!”

As for the rest of the cast? Bruce Willis, Francis McDormand & Bill Murray are all wasted talent. The only one who gets to be remotely interesting is Edward Norton as a Cub Scout leader and even his role is almost too quirky for me.

The set pieces are interesting though with shots of the coastline and most of it being shot like it’s a picture on the wall. Everything seems remote and flat but I think that was on purpose. Everything about this movie gave me a sense of being too far removed from it, like I was looking at a complicated picture from a distance and but couldn’t see the details. If it was the Mona Lisa, I might have given it some time to come into focus. But as it is, Moonrise Kingdom is little more than a Bob Ross experience and even that might be too much of a compliment.

Overall Rating: D

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