June 12, 2012
My immediate reaction to Wes Anderson isn’t hatred, love, or even annoyance. It’s jealousy. After scorn-filled years spent perceiving him as a threat to my personal identity, this is the unsophisticated truth. I am not jealous of the fact that his films exist, it’s not the envy of an artist to another’s success and popularity. Instead I’m jealous that I don’t belong to the group that’s thrilled and inspired by his work. I want Anderson’s anti-authority themed films to matter to me (an anti-authority themed person), in a significant, or at least delightful way, and I’m frustrated that they don’t. And though he has his critics, it feels lonely not to fall in love with Wes Anderson.
In his new film, Moonrise Kingdom, two kids, Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward) fall in love and run away in the summer of 1965. Sam is an orphan and a boy scout. Suzy is a redhead with blue eyeshadow. The adults in their respective lives chase after the two: Suzy’s parents (Francis McDormand and Bill Murray) and Sam’s scout master and town sheriff (Edward Norton and Bruce Willis). The young lovers do their best to evade capture and defend their romance on beautiful overly-crafted sets meant to look exactly like overly-crafted sets. Moonrise is an extremely good looking movie, and its mood is powerful and infectious, but for me it was never more than inspiration for new eyeshadow or the urge to more carefully coordinate the colors in my kitchen…
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