06 July, 2012

The Moonrise Kingdom of the Movie Whore

That's right...she's back.


My inner Movie Whore is oddly insistent this time. I was working on a post about the wedding weekend and the bridesmad dress (from this post), but so much happened that weekend, it still needs extensive editing. Meanwhile, my mom and I saw the movie Moonrise Kingdom during an afternoon out shopping, and the Movie Whore can't shut up about it. She keeps popping into my subconscious with observations about it and really thinks I need to share it with the rest of you.


I think it came out recently enough that most of you will still have the opportunity to see it if you decide to. I had seen a preview for it months ago, and it intrigued me... not least because part of the trailer shows Bill Murray wielding an axe.

The main thing that the Movie Whore keeps whispering to me is that I should see it again. I'm sure I missed stuff. It's one of "those" movies. It is classified as "comedy" and "drama" - not a surprising combination - and also "indie". It plays like an indie film. (I don't think that impressed my mom so much.) In fact, the story is almost incidental to the style.

It is, in the Movie Whore's not-so-humble-opinion, a very cool film.


The cast, of course, is outstanding. Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton... even Harvey Keitel got on board! Most of the action centers on the kids, though.

The adult characters are ... not at all stereotype, actually. Mom (Frances McDormand) calls her kids with a megaphone, Dad (Bill Murray) hardly notices anything at all. The local cop (Bruce Willis) is a bit of a sad-sack, and the anal-retentive scoutmaster (Edward Norton) feels his failures deeply.

The Movie Whore was impressed with how much was demonstrated without words. Scant on dialogue, Moonrise Kingdom expresses the world through what's not said. Vague actions on the part of the parents, hints as to misunderstandings between generations. It's a very full film. The way the kids relate to each other is understandable to anyone who's been that age. Well, you might argue that Sam is a little more mature than most boys his age.


Still, it doesn't play like your standard cinema-fare. The opening has so little dialogue...it simply shows Suzy's impression of her world through her binoculars. And all those popular actors in the cast? They are like secondary characters - a secondary ensemble - after the unknown actors playing the Suzy and Sam.


But each of those great actors is outstanding in their role, in their own way. Edward Norton is so different from the usual things I've seen him in. And Bill Murray - probably on screen least of all the big stars - is a HOOT! What else would you expect, right? (I might be wrong about his screen-time. Another reason to see it again.)

Well, in short, the Movie Whore will insist that I get this DVD, and we might even hit it once more in theaters. But people who prefer mainstream films and don't really care for artsy-fartsy cinematography might not love it. The story is sweet, but there's so much more to this movie than the story, don't just see it for that.


Bill Murray, the clueless dad.
If it helps, my mom - who seemed very "meh" about it - said that if she saw the DVD in the $5 bin at Walmart, she would pick it up. So there you have it: mainstream movie-lovers will possibly feel that Moonrise Kingdom is not worth the ticket price. People who  like things that stretch the boundaries of normal may want to see it more than once.

Oh, and people who like to know the movies that are being discussed when Oscar season rolls around? See it now. It will be much talked-of.

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for providing a welcome distraction from the boring work stuff I was doing today (reading product manuals.) :) Now to 'take a break' and watch that trailer. What? I'm not procrastinating. Nooo. Me? Never.

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    1. Ohh that actually looks pretty good. "I have to go find a tree to chop down." LOL! Bill FREAKIN Murry, Man! I hope it's as funny as the trailer made it out to be.

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  2. It is funny, but more situationally funny, I think. There's not a lot of quick one-liners to howl at. The kids' all state everything dead-pan and serious. So really the adults are sort of the comic relief. Because of course, when you're a kid the age of the main characters, life is very serious business, and adults are all idiots.

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  3. Oh, I love the movie whore! This sounds exactly my kind of movie. And what a cast! I hadn't even heard of this movie, so I am so glad you did a post on it.

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    1. You'll hear more about it now that it's in theaters. The critics love it.

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  4. As much time as we've spent together, I am surprised I haven't met the Movie Whore. Will she be present at our weekend movie marathon?

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    1. Of course you've met her. She's the one who quotes Casablanca and Breakfast at Tiffany's, the one who keeps throwing out the option of actually going to a movie.

      She's less pushy with you though. We both know that going to the cinema is a waste of precious gas money!

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  5. The truth is, I will watch almost anything with Bill Murray in it.

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    1. You should definitely see this one then. I think he's better in this than in Caddyshack. Totally understated, misunderstood, sad sack. Awesome.

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  6. Is this the new Wes Anderson flik? It sounds like the type of cast. Like the Royal Tannenbaums. And as much as I enjoy the cast in these movies, for some reason I don't really "get" his movies that much. I want to, and I feel like I should, but it's just not my thing, I guess. And it's not that I don't enjoy indie fliks, because I really do. But yeah, his stuff is just not really my thing.

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    1. Yes - Wes Anderson. I never saw the Royal Tannenbaums. The Movie Whore hadn't yet entered my life and started dragging me to the movies all the time.

      I'm sure the style isn't for everyone. It was kind of weird, but overall, I enjoyed it.

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I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.