Emily Conyngham

Emily Conyngham
Homey Airport, Nevada,
December 31
I Enjoy It
I couldn't make this stuff up! © Emily Conyngham All Rights Reserved


JUNE 16, 2012 11:00PM

Moonrise Kingdom: A film for your inner kid

Rate: 20 Flag

 Moonrise Kingdom, My Inner Kid's Response

This is my first time to do this, so I don’t want to call it a review. That is for grown-ups.  This is my response to film about first love and being a little different. I had never been to Austin’s iconic Alamo Drafthouse.  I rushed in without planning ahead or reading reviews, like a kid running in for her favorite candy.  

I’ve always liked Wes Anderson’s movies since Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, and on through others like The Royal Tennenbaums, Life Aquatic of Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Express, and Fantastic Mr. Fox. If you liked any of those, you’ll find yourself in familiar territory here in Moonrise Kingdom and you should proceed to your theater downtown, or come to Austin and have a beer and some movie-themed food at the Drafthouse while you watch the magic unfold on the screen. 


We Begin. 

In 1965 in a magical place called Penzance, but which is actually Naragansett, Rhode Island, and feels like the island in The Tempest, there is a storm brewing and a gnomish narrator. Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward) meet at a school play about Noah’s Ark and fall in love, for the first time in their adolescent lives. 


moonrise kingdom set still

Suzy's House

We see Suzy and her family as though they live in a dollhouse, everyone in their separate rooms, our field of vision kind of flat. Bill Murray, Mr. Bishop, doesn’t have much of a clue about anything. Mrs. Bishop, Mom, played by Frances McDormand, calls the kids through a bullhorn. I felt sad about that. I thought about how we text and email our family members, sometimes more than we sit down at a table with them.  The kids listen to Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra on the portable record player. The story then unfolds like a Young Person’s Guide to Life.

Suzy looks fresh out of an American Apparel ad with her blue eyeshadow, white knee socks and saddles.


Suzy Reading 

She reads a lot of what is now called Young Adult fiction. She feels familiar too, like Gwyneth Paltrow in The Royal Tennenbaums. Suzy has anger issues.

Sam, an orphan, wears a coonskin cap like Max in Where the Wild Things Are.


Sam Scouting 

He is at scout camp with a requisite bully and an earnest camp leader played by Edward Norton. The production design by Adam Stockhausen is brilliantly layered here too with classic scout tents and picnic tables arranged neatly in rows, then flattened by the camera, to become more like a postcard than a setting.  Everything runs in straight lines. I thought about how boys become men who become organizations, in training grounds like these.  What’s a boy to do if he doesn’t fit in? Sam has abandonment issues.

moonrise-kingdom camp ivanhoe 

Sam's Camp 

 Sam fetches Suzy and they tromp away to set up a beach camp which they name Moonrise Kingdom. She is beautiful to him with her make-up and anger and fantasy books. He says, “Poems don't always have to rhyme, you know. They're just supposed to be creative.” The stitches in my heart cracked open a little on that one. She admires the manly way he smokes a corn cob pipe and just knows how to DO STUFF. Yikes, I thought my purple high school crush was going to leak out of my stretched heart seams.


The adults are not happy about the elopement of our “troubled” heroes. The chase is on. They call the island’s cop played by Bruce Willis, played so subtle and tender I wanted to hug him. When it turns out Sam’s foster parents don’t want him, uh oh, they call Social Services, played by Tilda Swinton in her hard little blue hat, played so hard and clean, I did not want to hug her. She doesn’t have a name. They never do. Watching her, I thought of Roald Dahl’s awful adults.

grownups The Grown ups 

 The kids rule here in this movie.

The story did unfold like a symphony, and read like a Young Adult book.  I’m glad I ran in like a kid, unprepared and eager for the next thing. You’ll have to go see it to find out what happens in the end. 

Grown-ups are allowed if they leave their baggage at the door. Take your Dad or take your inner kid.You'll  both come out younger.

© 2012 Pandora S. Bach

Images  retrieved from Google Images

The trailer:

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I want to see this. For sure. Thanks!
Ms s Bach

Thank you for reviewing this- I saw a trailer on TV and have been trying to find it what it was- Now if it will just play somewhere near here where I can Find it.
HELP! How do I embed video??? I don't want just a dinky link; this was a super visual flick.
Thank you for the review (whether you think it's a "real" one or not). Must see this movie now...
I sent you a pm. Embed this code in your html box in the compose screen. It's the old embed code which is what OS uses...
Looks excellent! A Bruce Willis movie in which he isn't asked to blow things up! Nice!
This was a fun read.
And my comment looks like a doofus because OS deleted the code I had pasted in it.
It is such a treat, this movie, for sure, you guys. thanks for checking in. Oh, hey, bonus, harvey Keitel too. Grand poobah scout.
The movie, however, sounds great. I had seen a bit of the trailer before and blew it off. Thanks for asking me to look again.
HEY!!! I did it!!! thanks, Phyllis!!!!!
Yippee, and it works, too! Oh man, I couldn't do it without you guys. I know I shouldn't have posted this late at night on a Saturday, but well, if you're not busy tomorrow, maybe you can find it.
I am soooooo excited to see this!!!!!!
PP - oh good...I mean it's not a gut wrenching thing. Nice, well-acted, and incredibly visual. Like old polaroids.
Will see.
I couldn't access your clips ( I'm missing a thing called a plug-in ... ? ) but I saw Bill Murray talking about this on Letterman last week.
If it has Frances McDormand, I'll be there. Thanks.
oh me too, Kim! Frances McDormand is one of my big time favourites.
Thanks for the review. This movie captured my imagination as soon as I watched the trailer on iTunes. R.
did you see it, Deborah?
smacking my head, forgot to say thank you for R. thanks, Deborah!
I love Harvey Keitels' work!
Ever seen Three Seasons?
he's in that, too. and the whole picture is lovely.
I will take my inner kid as well as my other kids. Anything with Bill Murray is worth watching; adding Frances McDormand & Bruce Willis elevates it even more. The story sounds wonderful. Thanks for the great review; I don't know that I would have heard of this movie if it weren't for you.
PW I have not seen that one, but he was brilliant in my favorite movie, the Piano, another visually stuffing flick.
Margaret, have fun. Thanks for the R! the acting by all the greats is, of course, great, but the two kid stars do an excellent job. Really, for me, there was so much going on visually, I wonder if I should go again. I'm hoping to win the summer free pass at this cool place.
yikes. STUNNING FLICK. time to power down.:-)
OHHH you got it! Good job on the utube..and the review..
Will look out for this for sure. Thank you for lighting the fuse x
thanks, rita. Yup, am now part of the TWENTIETH century!
Sue - you'll love its innocence.
Sounds like a must see. Thanks for the synopsis. R
thanks, Trudge. I love your name
I think your reaction to this movie fits so well with the ambiance I felt when I saw it. Although I'm more of an old-school Wes Anderson fan ("Rushmore" is one of my favorite movies of all time), this one, like all of his films, had such a magic about it. And as always, such a mix of hilarious and haunting. Thank you for bringing me back to that experience - and I love the photos you chose to add - I loved how the movie looked.
THIS is rather an important piece to me, thank u.
it came at the best time.
i guess we all got our moonrise kingdoms,
but right now mine is key in my mind...
is what good ART does.
Wes Anderson has done it again. This one reminded me a little of the older "Stand By Me," another big-hearted coming of age movie. Thanks for the two thumbs up review.
look at you, a year later getting the rates! it was a delightful movie, and i am glad i didnt read this first, so i got to be surprised by all of it, but it was lovely to read now, and think of what a fine little movie it was. thanks, emily!