Wes Anderson is a highly-respected auteur – and yet, also one of the more divisive filmmakers working in showbiz. As fiercely loyal as the writer/director’s fanbase is, when it comes to their adoration of his cinema, those who fall on the other side of the fence are equivalently nonplussed about his recognizable quirky style of storytelling.
The last movie made by Anderson, Fantastic Mr. Fox, is widely considered to be his most accessible for non-converts – and moviegoers of all ages, who otherwise tend to be perplexed by his off-kilter, French New Wave-inspired work. Will the filmmaker’s latest project, Moonrise Kingdom, also manage to bridge that gap?
As evidenced by the new featurette for Moonrise Kingdom, Anderson has no problem convincing big-name stars to sign on for his films. Appearing in the director’s latest creation are frequent collaborators like Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman, character actresses who generally stick to off-beat fare, such as Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton – and even people like Edward Norton and Bruce Willis, who aren’t exactly known for appearing in indie dramedies like this.
Moonrise Kingdom revolves around a story set in a small New England coastal town (circa 1965), where two love-struck adolescents run away together, causing much strife for the customary peculiar, self-absorbed adults that show up in every Anderson movie. Whether or not that heartfelt tale about first love will get overshadowed by Anderson’s filmmaking style – that’s the question right now.
Based on this early footage, the sets and shot composition in Moonrise Kingdom call a lot of attention to themselves. With so much action and material packed into every frame, it’s easy to lose focus of what really (well, in theory, at least) matters in the film: the plot and characters. Even devoted Anderson fans are generally willing to admit, that can be a problem with his movies – especially when the characters are so difficult to connect or empathize with in the first place (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, looking at you).
Still, Moonrise Kingdom does seem like it should pack its fair share of enjoyable humor - not to mention, this looks to be one of the rare Anderson films that almost wears its heart on its sleeve. Here’s hoping all that doesn’t get lost in the fray, what with all the post-modern posturing going on.
Moonrise Kingdom is slated to begin a limited theatrical release in the U.S. on May 25th, 2012.
Source: Focus Features