So, I’ve seen most Wes Anderson films, I think. I’ve watched Rushmore, maybe more than once, and I’ve actually taught The Royal Tenenbaums, or considered teaching it or at least watched it during class, something like that. In general, I like Wes Anderson films. My problem, though, comes from the fact that I can’t really remember them; I only remember that they make me feel nostalgic for a time I’ve never known. Even TRT, which for a while I considered to be one of my top 10 films, well, I can’t quite remember it. I remember very distinctly certain scenes, like Margot (Gwenyth Paltrow) in the bathtub, explaining to Etheline (Angelica Houston) that the TV won’t electrocute her because she tied it up or the scene where Henry (Danny Glover) falls into the hole at the archaeological dig site. I remember the colors and most of the clothes of that film, mostly, but I have no idea what Royal (Gene Hackman) wore, mostly because I remember the scene where he’s getting the massage and is, therefore, mostly naked. And, Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller’s characters and roles in the film, well, those are, right now, somewhat murky.
When I decided to see Moonrise Kingdom, it was partially because I’ve like the Wes Anderson films I’ve seen (I think) and I thought this one looked pretty fun. But, I also wanted to test out my ability to remember enough about the film to write a review about it the day (or two) after I’d seen it.
Before I start the review, I’ll say that I was practically in a Wes Anderson film prior to seeing this movie. I went to a local, Mediterranean place for some yummies, including damascus hummus, a place I’ve been to a number of times but a new place to my friends from out of town. The restaurant has great food, usually, and this location has better food than at the exact same restaurant at other locations. The service, though, was not quite what it’d been before. The waiter’s enthusiasm for Moonrise Kingdom and the Nickelodeon Theatre (the only place showing the film in Columbia) was only superseded by his utter and complete sincere honesty, without any filter at all, so much honesty that it in fact bordered on idiocy. When asked about an item on the menu, his reply was, more than once, “I have no idea.” Then, when my MisterE ordered something ) that sounded disgusting to me), the waiter replied “Woah, I’ve never even heard of that. I don’t know what that is. How do you spell it?” as he grabbed the menu out of MisterE’s hand. There were even more moments like that during the brief time that he spent with us at the table.
While in other circumstances, that may have been annoying, I was completely amused. His honesty, at that level, was hilarious.
As was the conversations and perspectives of the characters in Moonrise Kingdom. Wes Anderson successfully showed in this film how funny, really, really funny, saying exactly what you’re thinking and being perfectly honest about it can be so surprising and therefore so amusing. My favorite moment that shows this happened on the Moonrise Kingdom beach, when Sam (Jared Gilman) tells Suzy, played wonderfully by Kara Howard, (after she explains how being an orphan means that his life is more special) “I love you, but you have no idea what you’re talking about.” There was also a level of appreciation for absurdity in life, like the moment when Sam offered to give the kitten some of the leftover fish parts and Suzy denied that request stating that the kitten only eats Pure Fish kitten food.
Overall, the movie was enjoyable. The Narrator (Bob Balaban) kept the story book feel that is a Wes Anderson characteristic, plus I found his poses and outfits, especially the gloves, to be hilarious, though the funniest outfit goes to Social Services (Tilda Swinton), mostly because of that wonderful and terrible hat.
So, it’s two days later, and I’m sitting here trying to remember the movie, exactly what happened. I can’t really. I remember Suzy’s poofy underwear (what a great detail!), I remember Bruce Willis’s wonderful scene with Frances McDormand. I remember some stuff about an orphanage and a church show, something about Noah and the flood.
No, wait, it was spelled funny, Noeh and the Fludde or Noah and Flooddeee something like that. Wait, I’ve never even heard of that, How do you spell it?