Remember when Wes Anderson was being hailed as the new Martin Scorsese? You kinda had to take the claim seriously, considering that Marty himself was the lead cheerleader. But at the risk of angering Anderson fans, one could argue the filmmaker’s recent body of work hasn’t lived up to the early promise exhibited by Bottle Rocket, Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums. (We’re only referring to his live-action ouvre; Fantastic Mr Fox was indeed fantastic.).
But there appears to be a lot to like here, as the movie, set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, tells the story of two twelve-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness.
The ridiculously positive reviews (96% at the time of writing on Rotten Tomatoes) seem to back up the point that this is a serious return to form. “The director’s best film since 1998’s Rushmore, it has none of the self-conscious smugness of The Life Aquatic or the empty eccentricity of The Royal Tenenbaums,” notes USA Today. “Moonrise Kingdom breezes along with a beautifully coordinated admixture of droll humor, deadpan and slapstick,” is the view of the New York Times, while TIME’s Richard Corliss is a fan, remarking that “part of the considerable appeal of Moonrise Kingdom … is its notion that two of Anderson’s dolls want to bust out of his stylistic straitjacket.”