Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 12A
  • Drama
  • 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

Film4 Moonrise Kingdom

Synopsis

Two besotted twelve-year-olds run away from their isolated 1960s New England community prompting a chaotic search effort among the townspeople. Directed by Wes Anderson

Critic's Review

Moonrise Kingdom is a film well worth immersing yourself in. Like most of Wes Anderson's films (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic), this is one of those pieces with such a distinctive aesthetic, you basically have to surrender yourself to it, or not bother at all. If you fight it, you'll have a horrible time; give into it and you'll soon find yourself exploring a world of taut, nostalgic, just-so beauty.

The plot is slight; the themes huge. In a nutshell, two twelve year olds (Kara Hayward, Jared Gilman) agree to run away together; other characters (Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton and Tilda Swinton) search for them, a set-up that allows musings on new love, soured love, sexual awakening, parents and children, authority versus autonomy, insanity vs individualism and exploration in several senses of the word.

At times there's an exciting hint of Lord Of The Flies savagery, at others, Moonrise Kingdom is a dreamy Wendy and The Lost Boys Neverland. Lord Of The Flies and Peter Pan are of course literary classics about children on the cusp of adulthood, wrestling with their feelings about such supposedly adult concerns as violence and sex, (or, more politely, love). One of Moonrise Kingdom's great strengths is in its recognition that children aren't innocent until sixteen and then suddenly adults, but capable of experiencing incredibly strong emotions for each other. It's a sensitive subject, sensitively handled by Anderson and Roman Coppola's script, which doesn't condescend to these kids, or make us feel perverse watching them fall for each other. I'd say it's Anderson's best film since Tenebaums.

In a nutshell: It's doubtful this will win over any outright Anderson sceptics, but as someone who wasn't sure about a couple of his more recent films, this is an exciting reaffirmation of talent.

By Catherine Bray

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Tilda Swinton, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Harvey Keitel
  • Director: Wes Anderson
  • Writer: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola

Please wait while this video loads. If it doesn't load after a few seconds you may need to have Adobe Flash installed.

Wes Anderson Interview

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

    Lily Collins stars in Harald Zwart's fantasy action-adventure, based on the first novel in Cassandra Clare's bestselling series for young adults.

  • Film4

    The Rise

    Luke Treadaway, Neil Maskell and Timothy Spall star in this Leeds-set heist caper, the debut feature from writer-director Rowan Athale.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Channel 4 announces major increase to Film4 funding

    Film4 funding has increased to a record £25m in 2016, with major new deals announced with Fox Searchlight and FP Films. Film4 will be backing new work from Lenny Abrahamson, Yorgos Lanthimos, Andrew H

  • Channel 4 Blog

    The 36th London Film Critics Circle Awards

    The Film4-backed 45 Years takes Best Actor, Best Actress and Best British Film at the 36th London Critics' Circle Film Awards Other prizes for Film4-backed films included Breakthrough Filmmaker for d

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share