Monday, 21 January 2013

Dear Suzy, When?


When I read somewhere that Wes Anderson's intention with Moonrise Kingdom had been to reminisce about the magic of childhood love I had already seen the film and adored it, put simply he couldn't have done a better job. Set in the mid sixties on a small (fictional) island called New Penzance off the coast of New England the film revolves around Sam and Suzy, two twelve year olds each misfits in their own way. Sam is an orphan placed with well-meaning foster parents who run their home like a hybrid of church and army barracks, he struggles to make friends and is the least popular member of his Khaki Scout troop. Suzy on the other hand is the eldest of four children and a voracious reader who loves to escape into books, controlling her temper is not her strong point - she is often at odds with her eccentric attorney parents and is all too aware that they consider her a problem child. They meet, fall in love through exchanging letters and plan to run away together into the wilderness. 

To reveal much more about the characters or the plot would be erring on the side of a spoiler, but suffice to say there is adventure, comedy and an undercurrent of sadness mixed in with the romance. If you vividly remember the awkwardness of your pre-teen and early teen years or ever felt like the black sheep of the family (whether you were/are or not!) you'll understand what lengths Sam and Suzy are willing to go to having each found a person who accepts their quirks. The casting is divine; Edward Norton as the earnest, chipper and slightly incompetent Khaki Scout leader, Bruce Willis plays an unfulfilled lonely cop and Tilda Swinton is saccharine and threatening as 'Social Services'. Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman bring Suzy and Sam to life with such an endearing awkwardness, I don't think the film would have worked half as well had they been experienced child actors.

If you can't stand whimsy - or Wes Anderson films - then I doubt Moonrise Kingdom will be up your street. That said there is so much to appreciate in the styling of the whole thing for anyone who loves a vintage aesthetic! I swooned over the portable record player, Suzy's diligently packed suitcase of her favourite books and the attention to detail on everything from the Khaki Scout uniforms and amazing authentic 1960s interiors to the wardrobe choices. Plus the way it was shot on super 16mm film leaves you feeling as though you jumped into someone's Instagram feed or your face was stroked with vintage Polaroids for ninety minutes. If you have a little stack of films or books you turn to after a rubbish day for some comfort you'll know what I mean when I say that Moonrise Kingdom made it onto my pick-me-up stack!

Hope you all had fun in the snow this weekend, 

24 comments :

  1. I've never heard of this before, but it looks really good: will have to check it out! :)

    www.tenantofwildfellhall.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. This film is amazing and really heartwarming too and you sum it up really well. the design and look is so dreamlike but I suppose I would say that as I like Wes Anderson flicks too. Did you like The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou?!?! x

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    1. Oh don't get me started on The Life Aquatic, I'd be here typing away for days on how much I love it! Everything about it: the cast, the soundtrack, the styling, the plot, the script. Just brilliant and another one that resides in my 'pick me up' stack!

      Jem xXx

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  3. I agree, it's a lovely little flick Jem (you should see what I bought Annabel (a big fan too, although her fave is still The Royal Tenenbaums) for Christmas - it would warm your little Moonrise Kingdom loving heart!)
    I watched Rushmore for the first time a few days ago (Anth has been nagging me to watch it for years) it's just as good, you should watch it. Hope you're well x

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  4. Jem I totally whole heartedly adore this film! From the first few seconds I just knew it was going to be pure magic. The set and costumes are divine and of course Suzy's suitcase of books and quirky clothing and binoculars are firmly on my wish list. As is her cute cat (and kitty itself) basket! Such a beautiful film, and I know exactly the feeling of pure nostalgic value xxx

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  5. I just love this movie! Last years best one in my opinion! ^^

    http://herbariumofrecollection.wordpress.com/

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  6. This looks incredible, I really want to watch it! It looks like it’s shot so beautifully too.

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  7. I love this film, I'm so glad I bought it on DVD! It's all perfection. xx

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  8. I don't usually like Wes Anderson films, but I did quite like this one if only for how pretty it was!

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  9. i haven't seen this yet, but i would really, really like to

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  10. this is one of my favourite films of last year, i saw it in this little independent theatre in my city and it was such a good experience with everyone laughing and having a good time watching it together. x

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  11. I haven't seen this but it sounds wonderful. I shall check it out. I love the way you describe the little things that catch your eye.
    x

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  12. This looks fantastic and completely up my street. Thanks for the great review!

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  13. Argh! The fish hooks! I find movies like this really soothing (apart from the fish hook bit), Wes Anderson always adds a magical element to it though which my other favourite soothing films don't have.

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  14. this is such a perfect post.
    http://xtheperfectmess.blogspot.com.au

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  15. This looks right up my street ... oh, the angst of teenage love - I remember it well!! I shall look out for it.

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  16. One of my favourite films of last year, really loved it! Suzy is great.

    http://everythinglaurenamiparker.blogspot.co.uk/

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  17. Oh, I LOVED this film so much. Wes Anderson is a genius.
    When Sam and Suzy set up camp on the beach and dance in their underwear . . . so sweet, and hysterical, and touching, and nostalgic -- all wrapped up in one.

    Did you know the girl who played Suzy (quite beautifully) is terribly brilliant - a member of MENSA.

    xx
    Jenny

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  18. I've never seen it. I definitely need to after reading this post!

    www.threadandbutter.co.uk

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  19. This movie looks really interesting, great post.

    tulip-agate.blogspot.com

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  20. Hi Jem, saw this the other night and couldn't agree more with you! Loved it, found it refreshing and gorgeous to watch:)

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  21. Such a great movie!

    xo Jennifer

    http://seekingstyleblog.wordpress.com

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  22. I only just watched this recently - it's a work of art isn't it? Every still from this film would make a perfect picture, as your choice of images here proves. Great film!

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