Friday, July 27, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom - 4 stars

Set in New England in 1965, this movie is about a couple of kids named Sam Shakusky and Suzy Bishop.  Sam is an orphan and a Khaki Scout.  Suzy lives with her parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) and 3 younger brothers.  Sam and Suzy have been pen pals for a year.  Sam runs away from scout camp and Suzy runs away from home.  They meet up and spend several days hiking and camping while their romance blossoms.  Meanwhile the scout leader (Edward Norton), a local cop (Bruce Willis), the scout troop and Suzy's parents are all looking for the kids. 

This is a really charming and quirky little movie.  The cast is great fun.  Bill Murray has some strange and hilarious moments.  My favorite is when he walks down the stairs, shirtless, holding a bottle of whiskey in one hand and an axe in the other, and says "I'm going to find a tree to chop down."  The other is when he takes his shoe off and throws it at Bruce Willis.  Edward Norton is also great as the sincere scoutmaster.  Harvey Kitel shows up late in the movie as a scout 'commander' and Tilda Swinton is known only as Social Services.

There is a very sweet innocence to the kids' romance.  I think anyone who had a childhood crush will relate to these kids.  Also the dialogue is very inventive.  I don't think any twelve-year-old speaks the way Sam does, but we see right away why Suzy is the perfect match for him. 

It's impossible to describe the tone and feel of this movie, but right away I knew I was in good hands.  I was able to just sit back and let the story take me away.  Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the onscreen narration by Bob Balaban.  This is a great movie.

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