Wednesday, May 16, 2012

CANNES 2012 REACTIONS: "Moonrise Kingdom"

It looks like this year's Cannes opener, Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom", has managed to maintain the same general response as last year's "Midnight in Paris" did. The Cannes Film Festival can have a tendency to abound with some rather serious fare, so it's rather customary to kick off with something peppy, which is something that Wes Anderson is trademarked for. His return to live-action has been showered with positive reviews, mostly from people believing his quirky, twee aesthetic most well adapted towards children's issues and a 60s era setting. I remain skeptical, if only because I've heard that talk of Wes Anderson before, and am well prepared for something that feels somewhat halfhearted, but this will probably ring rather delightfully for most.
Drew McWeeny (HitFix): ""Moonrise Kingdom" is one of those films that seems slight on the surface, but there's so much emotion in it, so much genuine heartfelt observation, that I have a feeling it will grow the more I think about it, and that a second viewing will simply underline the feelings I have about it already.  Wes Anderson may have a distinct and easily recognized style, but his talent is genuine and his love of his characters rings loud and true in this film.  He may make it look easy because of how firmly his mannerisms are established at this point, but it takes a real artist to evoke the rocky emotional storms of adolescence and adulthood with such clear eyes and precise voice."
David Jenkins (Little White Lies): "Occasionally, you feel that the young lovers don’t quite get what Anderson is striving for, and it sounds like they’re fumbling through lines which they don’t feel. There’s even a portion of the film, about two thirds in, where Anderson appears to lose control of the reins and most of the cast are reduced – in homage to "Benny Hill"? – to running around in a field. Yet with "Moonrise Kingdom", Anderson has made a film about youth that feels like it was ripped from the overactive imagination of a 12-year-old. It’s like a "Prairie Home Companion" version of "Romeo and Juliet" as made by a raffish aesthete. But the biggest coup here is that Anderson has finally managed to anchor his trademark whimsy with a sincere and heady romanticism, and by the end, you may even be reaching for your immaculately embroidered handkerchief (or neck scarf) to wipe away the tears."
Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood): "Every frame of "Moonrise Kingdom" is arranged to perfection; the dialogue is flat; the 60s period references are selected with humor and affection. But at the heart of this remote island family comedy, which is packed with boy scouts and anxious, bumbling, disappointed well-meaning adults (Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, France McDormand, Bob Balaban, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Harvey Keitel and Edward Norton), is a budding romance between two 12-year-old loners (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward). Their powerful feelings ignite strong reaction as a storm rises around them and literally strikes them twice."
Todd McCarthy (Hollywood Reporter): "During the opening sequence, you could be forgiven for thinking you are looking at a dollhouse, if not the underground lair of Mr. Fox and his family. In a series of quick lateral moves, the frame shifts from room to room as in a slide show to reveal the home of the splintered Bishop family, some members of which will figure prominently in what's to come. But the people pale in relation to the punctilious presentation, which emphasizes decor and geographic and meteorological minutiae about New Penzance Island in New England as well as the strictly regimented routines of the Khaki Scouts, whose 1965 summer session is under way."
Guy Lodge (In Contention): "MOONRISE KINGDOM (C+) Three courses of dessert, smothered in Desplat. Appealing blush, witty accents, but, as ever, all love and no passion."

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