Moonrise Kingdom, a movie I’d pay to see twice…

… Not only would I pay to see Moonrise Kingdom two times, I’d probably shell out the extra bucks to purchase it on DVD just to have in my movie library. I may even buy the soundtrack. Yes, it was that good and perfectly Wes Anderson-y, down to the minutest detail.

I was absolutely delighted by Bob Balaban as an omniscient gnome-like narrator.

If you are a fan of Wes Anderson, and are familar with his quirky characters and fascinating story telling you will not be disappointed in the slightest. Moonrise Kingdom is Anderson first “period piece” set in the sepia toned nineteen sixties. Everything about it evokes nostalgia for childhood. Kids are strange and literal creatures, and this movie pulls you into their strange and literal world with an outstanding cast of Anderson regulars, like Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman. Every Wes Anderson film is like revisiting old friends. Unlike Woody Allen’s latest, To Rome With Love [which sucked, by the way] , which is the typical Allen story told over and over again with stereotypical neurotic characters we simply can’t care about; Anderson movies too tell very similar stories but from the varying perspectives of bizarrely lovable characters and this particular one is topped off with a delicious warm and fuzzy ending. I don’t want to give too much away, but this one… yeah, this one you should see.

Now for the technicalities: It’s rated PG-13 for the adult themes of adultery [but no sex] and some mild violence involving lefty scissors, a bow and arrow, and a dog named Snoopy that may be a tad upsetting for young children. It’s also a young romance story with kissing and junk, so young kids will probably find it more gross than interesting. I think there are a few curse words too, but no F Bombs or GD’s. This is a perfectly acceptable film for teens and young adults but I think they’d be bored senseless. They wouldn’t get it, I fear.

Related Links: A video review by Steven Greydanus, in it he discusses the symbolism of the flood and marriage portrayed in this film.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • Tim in Cleveland

    Did you enjoy “Life Aquatic” and “Darjeeling Limited”?  While I enjoyed Wes Anderson’s earlier films, I did not like those two and if “Moonrise Kingdom” is like the latter two, I don’t think I’ll see it… but there have been positive reviews from people whose taste I trust, so I kinda want to see it.  Life is so hard :(

    • Katrina Fernandez

      No, nothing like either. This was innocent and child like and oh so wonderful.

    • SDG

      Tim, FWIW, MOONRISE KINGDOM was the FIRST Anderson film that REALLY clicked for me…and I’m hearing a lot of people saying the same thing. At the same time, I’m hearing that it’s opening up Anderson’s other films for people who hadn’t responded to them before. No matter which of Anderson’s previous films you didn’t like, I’d recommend this one.

      • Tim in Cleveland

        Well I’m sold.  Can’t wait to see it.

  • Stefanie Vance

    Oh, man, I can’t wait to see this movie — next week, after my son’s wedding has joyfully been celebrated, I’m off to see MK.  My kids (now ages 25-20)  and I love Wes Anderson’s stuff — although, I have to admit, like Bill Murray, I’ve never seen Bottle Rocket.   My husband (65 years old) doesn’t quite get Wes Anderson’s films, but since I rarely go to films anymore, he’ll come with me just for the rarity of actually watching a first-run movie with me.  (He goes to the movies every week btw)
    Thanks for the thumbs-up review, Kat.

  • Joanne K McPortland

    The other reason for the PG-13 was the era-consistent smoking.

    I have paid to see it twice, and will definitely buy it, and I’m not a middle-period Wes Anderson fan.

  • Andrea

    I’m not the biggest Wes Anderson fan (I like his movies, but I don’t LOVE them the way other people do), but I really did love this one.  It was so full of hope and forgiveness and wonder.  I can’t wait to buy it.  And there was a refreshing lack of Wilsons, which I admit, I enjoyed.

    • Katrina Fernandez

      Yes, Owen free was an added plus. 

  • Charles in CenCA

    Yes, Kat!6
    I drove to FRESNO, yes, freaking Fresno on my freaking 61st birthday morning with m’ bride of four decades to take in the 10am showing! This, not “Prometheus” (as I’m also a R.Scott admirer) was THE summer film. And it was unbearably accurate and vaulted Anderson into the coveted Coen Bros., Jonathan Nolan, Mike Nichols category, virtually numero uno thus far. Woody can do “one trick pony films.” Anderson’s intellect is only matched by the Nolans, near as I can tell, with DK Rises to come.
     was so addled and in sublime joy I filled the car with 3.5 gal. of diesel. So, I paid $600 (flush the gas tank) to see this film, which required spending the greater portion of my ancient BDay in FRESNO!
    “Moonrise Kingdom”-required viewing for Crescat-heads.

  • pablo the Mexican

    Chick Flick.

    One you may also enjoy:  Children of Heaven.



  • Lee Gilbert

    What the hell.  I suppose I am a Jansenist clod for being furious with myself for following your reco like a trusting lamb.   At what point of undress on the beach would it have become pornographic in your opinion?   Nice dialogue, too, at that point,  just the kind of thing to quicken the flame of chastity in the youngsters who are so unfortunate as to see it.   This is innocence?  If so, it is innocence in danger, not the kind of thing to download into anyone’s imagination or to get such a positive thumb’s up on a Catholic site.  MHO.  I enjoy your site, but from now on I am giving your movie recos a pass.

    • SDG

       Lee Gilbert,

      You ask:

      “At what point of undress on the beach would it have become pornographic in your opinion?”

      Perhaps when the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s definition of pornography (CCC §2354) was met, or even remotely approached. Sorry, it’s nothing resembling pornographic. Youngsters likely to see it? A Wes Anderson movie? You must know some different youngsters than I do. The ones that want to see skin and sex will have no trouble finding it with actual salaciousness, instead of the rather uncomfortable, poignant and ultimately yeah, pretty innocent presentation here.

      • Lee Gilbert

        Yeah, next time I sense temptation, I’ll be sure check the Catholic Catechism to verify.  

        What about this part of CCC 2354:  “It does a grave injustice to the dignity of the participants (actors . . .)” ?   If you were that girl’s parent,  would you have permitted her to be on screen in her underwear, to be pawed, to utter that dialogue??  To be viewed by millions?  Not if you had a brain in your head.  

        Somewhere St. Thomas Aquinas lays down the principle that what is not permitted in real life is not permitted onstage either, but it is not decent to go about dressed like that in real life.Would you want your 13 yr old son or daughter to see this PG-13 movie? Again,  the CCC notwithstanding, not if you have a clue.  It isn’t at all a question of keeping pornography addicts from yet another pornographic movie, but of heaping praise on a film that is not going help any young person who sees it to remain chaste.Look, I understand the Supreme Importance of fitting into this culture as much as possible,  of neither being a prude or thought a prude, but the high morality of the movie biz is obscenity to the the saints.  What would Alphonsus Ligouri say?  Teresa of Avila?  Don Bosco?  Peter Damien?  Our Lady?  Hmmmmm?  I doubt very much that you would hear anything about ” innocence”  from them.   

        No, if not pornographic, it was unquestionably  indecent and below the bar we should set for ourselves.  

        • SDG

          Lee, I hope you’ll take this as it’s intended, in a spirit of sincerity, with no irony or subtext: If you sensed temptation for yourself, then you are right to want to avoid movies like this. I can only speak for myself; watching the scene with the eyes of a middle-aged father with three daughters and four sons, I found it uncomfortable, a little sad and pathetic, but also a little naively sweet, true to the characters and the movie, and not in the least erotic.
          That’s not to say I think the scene was necessary for the film, or that one can’t reasonably object to the scene, or can’t wish the movie had left the scene out. Still, it’s only one questionable scene in a movie with a lot of good. 
          I think the movie is suitable for mature viewers, not for adolescents. I am more sympathetic to your argument that the scene does injustice — I wouldn’t say grave injustice, but some injustice — to the dignity of the participants. I wouldn’t want my daughter doing the scene, but I can imagine a responsible parent agreeing to it
          FWIW, Catholic News Service — movie reviews for which have recently become (following a period of moral laxity and permissiveness) highly conservative, even at times reactionary — has this to say:

          As one would expect, their connection is more emotional than sexual. So a scene of the two of them slow-dancing in their underwear and exchanging a tentative kiss is meant to be an ironic riff on the highly sexualized atmosphere of the 1980 film “The Blue Lagoon.”
          Audience members who don’t get that reference may feel a bit queasy. The interlude doesn’t quite cross over into the full-blown exploitation of children, but it teeters on that edge.

          I think that’s a thoughtful, responsible statement. If you ever track down that Thomas Aquinas reference, I’d love to know about it.