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***** A must watch
**** Worth seeing
*** If you must watch a movie and there is nothing else out there
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* It’s so bad its almost good... not... These are films I walked out on, or just fell asleep
(K: stars) Rating by my children. As they are easy to please, would typically be higher than mine...

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Moonrise Kingdom (2012) ****

Moonrise_KingdomMoonrise Kingdom is Wes Anderson’s best work to date. It is very consistent visually and by its characters’ eccentricity with Anderson’s previous films, yet this film enjoys a somewhat more uplifting touch. The adult cast is made of top actors including Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Harvey Keitel, some in atypical roles, yet all shining. The younger actors, led by Jared Gilman as Sam Shakusky and Kara Hayward as Suzy Bishop, are terrific though their dialogues at the earlier part of the film are a little woody. Kudos go also to the art direction which is absolutely stunning, and also to the score.
The story takes place in the 60’s in a place that can exist only in someone’s nostalgic imagination. Yet writers Anderson and Roman Coppola ground it with a narrator (Bob Balaban) who is the local historian. The effect achieved is of retro-style.
Fifteen minutes into the film it’s impossible not to feel sympathy to the film’s lead characters – outcasts and in love. If you are in the mood for a fantasy that will keep you smiling for a good portion of the film, an engaging story and a little naïve romance, you are in for a treat.

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