The Conversation: What Are People Saying About 'Moonrise Kingdom'

The Conversation: What Are People Saying About 'Moonrise Kingdom'

May 16, 2012

How do you review a Wes Anderson movie? For some people it's just about comparing the latest to his previous films; for other people it's about reiterating that you either like Wes Anderson or you don't. But just as it infuriates me that most Wes Anderson parodies found on the Internet miss the point of his work and often even the nature of his style, it annoys me that many critics also treat his work so slightly.

Anyway, I haven't seen his latest, Moonrise Kingdom, which opened the Cannes Film Festival today and also screened for some critics in the States, so I can't speak to any higher at the moment. Instead, I have a sampling of responses from reviews and Twitter, most of them treating the thing as another distinct piece of Wes Anderson-ese, for good or bad. I look forward to finding more to it than that and am also particularly excited about the comparisons I've seen to Badlands, Pierre le Fou, Tati and Truffaut. 


What are people saying about Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom? Here's The Conversation heard around the Internet:

One of this year's most memorable movie experiences, an irresistible and completely enchanting look at first love Wes Anderson-style. - Pete Hammond, Box Office Magazine

A great success, both within the context of Wes Anderson's body of work and as a work unto itself. Initially, however, its Wes- Anderson-y-ness is almost off-putting. - Simon Abrams, Press Play

There are diehard Wes Anderson fans and then there's everyone else. "Moonrise Kingdom," the idiosyncratic auteur's seventh feature, eagerly pitches itself toward that first group of audiences and ignores the rest. - Eric Kohn, Indiewire

This is a Wes Anderson film -- more lightweight than some, possessing a stronger emotional undertow than others -- that will strike the uninitiated as conspicuously arch. - Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

I will admit I was skeptical, but I really, really liked Wes Anderson's MOONRISE KINGDOM. If you liked 'Tennenbaums,' you'll love this. - Matthew Odam, @Odam

Audiences who already appreciate the inherent visual neuroticism that Anderson toils over in every delicately-composed shot will praise this ensemble film as the second coming of The Royal Tenebaums while newcomers might be more wary of the overly niche style. - Raffi Asdourian, The Film Stage

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou may be the most direct precursor to Moonrise within Anderson's filmography, in that both are essentially adventures, elaborate, larger-than-life movie-movies punctured by violence, which has real consequences that seem shocking within the playful spaces Anderson meticulously creates. - Karina Longworth, LA Weekly

There are signs -- small ones, and easily missed -- that Anderson is not only using his traditional M.O. here but also commenting on it and, perhaps, saying goodbye to it. - James Rocchi, The Playlist

I usually find Wes Anderson precious and artificial. MOONRISE KINGDOM is precious, but the emotions are real. He's finally growing up? - Amy Nicholson, @AmyBoxOffice

Supplies a poignant metaphor for adolescence itself, in which a universally appealing tale of teenage romance cuts through the smug eccentricity and heightened artificiality with which Anderson has allowed himself to be pigeonholed. - Peter Debruge, Variety

An unabashed continuation and, what's more, intensification of the rigorous aesthetic preoccupations and occasionally precious thematic concerns that have long marked Anderson's films. [...] another programmatic, problematic, yet affectionate, homage to times past and passed. - Budd Wilkins, The House Next Door

Whimsical and amusing in only ways that Wes Anderson can truly deliver, but it doesn't really stand out amongst the rest of his work. While it certainly is fun (a word that kept coming to mind) it didn't hit all the right notes for me to fall in love with it completely. - Alex Billington, First Showing

Cannes bar set high with Wes Anderson's radiant, predictably droll tale of misfit romance & sorrowful adults. (Loved it.) Faulting MOONRISE KINGDOM for looking too "Wes Anderson-ish" is like complaining about Matisse's blue nudes for not being in other colors. - Aaron Hillis, @cobblehillis

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.  "Moonrise Kingdom" is the real deal. - Drew McWeeny, HitFix

Finds Wes Anderson in top form, playing to his strengths and trading on every characteristic of his film career to date with great success: it looks wonderful, the cast is almost universally excellent and the story is both humorous and utterly engaging on a number of levels. The ending might feel a little muddy, but it is still one of the best films the director has yet made, and certainly the most technically impressive in terms of his shot choices. - Simon Gallagher, Film School Rejects

Anderson's movies are vulnerable to the charge of being supercilious oddities, but there is elegance and formal brilliance in Moonrise Kingdom as well as a lot of gentle, winning comedy. [...] To some, Moonrise Kingdom may be nothing more than a soufflé of strangeness, but it rises superbly. - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Oh, you beautiful Moonrise Kingdom. You stole my heart and escaped in a miniature canoe. Can't wait to see you again soon - Go, See, Talk, @GoSeeTalk

Moonrise Kingdom was just lovely! Another terrific, incredibly personal work by Wes Anderson. - Christian Hodell, @christianhodell

I don't use this word normally but a perfect one word description for MOONRISE KINGDOM has to be adorbz. And with that, here's my man card. - J.C. De Leon, @jcdeleon1

Wes Anderson makes lively movies. I like lively movies. MOONRISE KINGDOM was odd and delightful. And lively. - Neil Miller, @Rejects

A lovely trifle. - Peter A. Martin, @petaramartin

I like the film a lot. It is Wes Anderson's return to live action form. For my money, Edward Norton is the guy who steals the show in "Moonrise Kingdom." Why doesn't he do more comedic roles? Jason Schwartzman is also really great in his bit part - Matt Dentler, @MattDentler

Wes Anderson at his most romantic and my fave of his - Nick James, @filmnickjames

Gotta say, I was mostly won over by Moonrise Kingdom. It's tight, endearing and (relatively) light on indulgences. Very similar to Rushmore in tone and essence, I feel. Rushmore > Moonrise Kingdom > Bottle Rocket > Fantastic Mr. Fox > The Darjeeling Limited > The Life Aquatic > The Royal Tenenbaums. - Kristopher Tapley, @kristapley

Interesting, disturbing...interesting. Embeds. But the navel-gazing ultimately wears thin. Marinating in youth etc. Bottle Rocket > Moonrise Kingdom - others unwatchable. - Sasha Stone, @AwardsDaily

MOONRISE KINGDOM is the most Wes Anderson movie ever made. - Jordan Hoffman, @JHoffman6

If someone had told me that Moonrise Kingdom was a Wes Anderson parody movie, I would have believed them. (I did enjoy, though.) - Mike Ryan, @mikeryan

The good news is that there may be one person who hates Wes Anderson's Little Rascals more than me. Bad news... it's Rex Reed. - Edward Douglas, @EDouglasWW



Follow Christopher Campbell on Twitter (@thefilmcynic) to join The Conversation.

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