Thursday, June 7, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

In Roger Ebert's 2001 review of the Ryan Phillippe movie "Antitrust" he begins by discussing the concept of "The Goofy Meter," a hypothetical needle that regulates the level of goofiness in a given movie.  Throughout the years since, my friend Daniel & I have semi-regularly referenced the Goofy Meter, whenever a movie somehow registers a "Too Goofy" in our minds. 

For me, "Moonrise Kingdom" is the first Wes Anderson movie to sway the Goofy Meter.  It happens in the third act, pretty much from the point that lightning becomes involved.  From that point on, the movie just seems to derail a bit.  On paper, the narrative wraps up nicely, but as a viewer, it all just seemed too goofy.  Fortunately the first 2/3rds of the movie is strange and interesting enough to merit a mild recommendation.  The first-love courtship of two quirky 12 year-olds in the 1960's is the centerpiece of Anderson's strange world.  The film does a great job of articulating the ultra-seriousness and over-romanticizing of youth and contrasts it well with Bill Murray and Francis McDormand's crumbling marriage. 

In typical Anderson fashion, the film is very detail oriented and in some cases too eccentric.  The two young leads are interesting to watch; their wooden disenchanted performances would seem out of place in any other movie other than Anderson's.  Also, Edward Norton is really good in it.

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