It takes place on an island off the coast of New England in 1966 and is about two kids who are “troubled” or misunderstood and plot to run away together. Sam (Jared Gilman) is a “khaki scout” and orphan who has been going from one unsuccessful foster home to the next and Suzy (Kara Hayward) is the daughter of these two work obsessed lawyers who are having a tough time with their blossoming, outrageous nerd of a daughter. The interaction between the kids is genuine, so honest. Dramatic, as kids are, you can really remember the days when you were just so passionate about something that it just consumed your everything. (Some of us are still that way but it is considered a juvenile trait.) It was also nice to see Bill Murray, who played Suzy’s father and Bruce Willis, the island cop, in these awkward, sepia-tone roles.
A really cool thing about the movie is that it opened with clips from the 1946 movie Instruments of the Orchestra which features The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, a musical composition by the British composer, Benjamin Britten. In my research after seeing Moonrise Kingdom, I actually learned that Benjamin Britten wrote quite a bit of music for children and young performers. Very fitting for the movie. I appreciated the musical selection for the film, it fit very well.
The filming was done very appropriately for the plot. The way the camera moved was like a child’s attention span and focus, I found that to really accentuate the young theme and atmosphere of the movie. The way the camera person moves through the house or follows the characters is how a child would, focusing on random, interesting things and skimming over the boring adult stuff.
And the guy narrating (Bob Balaban) is awesome with his glasses, red coat and monotone voice.
The little kitten in the basket was also the cutest thing.
Overall, I recommend you see this movie, it’s fun.