By Nathan Thomas
George Washington High School
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When I arrived home after seeing "Moonrise Kingdom" and my sister asked me how it was, my first response was, "It's a Wes Anderson movie." By that, I mean that the second the title appears and the first scene of the film is on, you know it was directed by Wes Anderson ("The Royal Tenenbaums," "Fantastic Mr. Fox").
This isn't a bad thing. In fact it lets you know you're in for a treat because this movie is his best to date. It's a combination of everything the man does best.
So what does he do best? And what makes this movie so undeniably his?
The first thing you'll notice about the movie is the way it's colored. Some would jokingly compare it to an Instagram filter. Also, Anderson tends to use slow motion in places where one wouldn't expect, using it to convey a sense of emotion rather than to make action sequences look cool.
The cast is also more of an ensemble, utilizing all of its characters to properly tell the story. The snappy, often fast-paced dialogue would be considered a trademark as well. And, of course, there's the plot, which includes quirky characters encountering problems of the human nature and, at one point, sadness.
The heart of the movie is a young romance between an orphaned scout, Sam, and an avid reader of fantasy books named Suzy. The books are fitting since the couple lives the fantasy of running away.
On the small 1965 New England island on which they live, the only inhabitants seem to be the two main characters and those that end up searching for them, which include a scoutmaster (Edward Norton), an island cop (Bruce Willis) and Suzy's parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand).
Although very over-the-top, each character feels very human, and the performances bring out the best of each cast member. The two young lovers (played by newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) don't force the feeling of not belonging, but that feeling is very present. Also present is the dry delivery of Bill Murray, which is always hilarious.
The movie itself is presented in a very eye-pleasing bright color tint, and the cinematography by Robert D. Yeoman is the best from any Anderson movie yet. Influences from Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino and Sergio Leone will be present to any film buff.
The final verdict is this: if you've liked Wes Anderson's previous work, you'll love this one. If you've hated his previous work, you'll probably hate it. I doubt there's middle ground on that.
If you've never seen one of his movies, give this one a shot. It's chock full of childhood nostalgia and will leave you grinning."Moonrise Kingdom" is currently showing at Park Place Stadium Cinemas.