I understand why most people are reluctant to embrace the films of Wes Anderson. They are clearly not for all tastes. Anderson makes movies about lost souls searching for emotional support and redemption in meticulously-created worlds where everything is filtered through a child’s pure sense of wonder. He is one of the most unique voices in American cinema today and though his films are set in places not fully grounded in the reality that we are all accustomed to, his characters’ actions and emotions are. Their feelings of joy, despair, grief, hatred, and love make them cinematic personalities as authentic in their thoughts and words as those of their creator.
Anderson does not always succeed when he sets out to make a movie, but even his greatest failures – of which there are precious few – are way more enjoyable than the vast majority of films being released these days. There is a reason why the Criterion Collection has released nearly every film directed by Anderson on DVD and Blu-ray, and I am still waiting with great anticipation for that Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou Blu.
Moonrise Kingdom Directed by Wes Anderson
Starring Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Bob Balaban and Harvey Keitel
Release Date: May 16, 2012
French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard, a powerful influence in cinema and pop culture from the 1960s onward thanks to his radical films, depicted in some of his films the need for the adolescent or youth to maintain their autonomy in the process of society attempting to crush it and mold it for their own purposes. This is pure literary, but in cinema the right director can demonstrate explicitly the harsh tendencies of society.
In his newest film, Moonrise Kingdom, director Wes Anderson, with a script he co-wrote with Roman Coppola, is approaching that topic Godard had always wrestled with, and still is today. It is not easy to do, but with Anderson’s whimsy and vigorous style of direction, unerring in its constant infatuation with capturing perfection, we are able to witness two adolescents restlessly in love in a perfectly concocted world endure an environment that is stifling and stunting their growth.