I may have turned in my review of my favorite 2012 release so far — Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom — almost a week ago, but Michael Leary, an excellent film reviewer and a friend of mind for more than a decade now, got his published online first.
So row your boat on over to Filmwell, the blog that Leary and I launched in March 2009, and read his thoughtful observations on what he calls “a high point in Anderson’s cinema.” (My own review will be up at Good Letters on Thursday.)
Moonrise Kingdom marks a high point in Anderson’s cinema (even if The Life Aquatic remains his masterpiece to date). Every element in Anderson’s past films is revisited here in the plight of the characters on this island, including the ever-present reliable narrator that is himself subject to the incoming storm he has been describing. It is a good place to start reading his films as a canon of sorts.
And as a filmmaker, Moonrise Kingdom elevates my respect for Anderson’s voice and craftsmanship to such an extent that I couldn’t help but watch it as a part of that classic constellation of films about childhood like 400 Blows,Les mistons, Small Change, Le ballon rouge, Where is the Friend’s Home?, or The White Balloon. That’s… not bad.
You can scan more first impression reviews of Moonrise Kingdom in my post from last May, when the film opened the Cannes Film Festival.