Uncle Pyko, the leader of the Halfworld Rebels. As of the film, Ronan the Accuser and Yondu end up contrasting their comic counterparts, though the former was almost always portrayed as a villain in Agents of S. In this series, they verge on the territory of card carrying villainy. Mantis is portrayed as a zealous leader of an antagonistic cult, which is a clear departure from her comics characterization and her depiction in the MCU.
The word auteur is entirely overused and misunderstood in the field of film criticism, but in its true form, the label certainly applies to director Wes Anderson.
There are unique, instantly identifiable tonal and thematic connections across his body of work that could come from no one else, and he has maintained a high level of quality throughout his career.
I would even argue his work has generally improved from film to film, his ruminations on the meaning, worth, and make-up of family units deepening in perception and execution as he goes along. Here, he expands his thematic ambition beyond the importance of family to explore an idea that is simultaneously more complex and simplistic than any he has yet tackled: Is the pain we feel living among others worth the benefits we receive?
What are those benefits? How do we process our emotions when we feel cut off from others?
Is it truly possible for one person to meaningfully change our lives? Moonrise Kingdom tackles all this and more. Children are not jaded to the world like adults; their emotions are no less valid or complex, but they feel their way through life on simpler, more direct levels, which we can learn from only if we take the time to stop and listen.
Anderson does this, giving his lead roles to two unknown preteen actors. Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman play Suzy and Sam, two children feeling estranged and uncomfortable in their small island community of New Penzance.
Anderson develops these characters as relatable, empathetic outsiders quickly and with a great deal of pathos: Sam is an orphan still reeling from the loss of his parents, desperately desiring friendship but rejected by the other kids in the Khaki Scouts for his social awkwardness and obvious superiority in all areas of scout training.
Suzy, meanwhile, feels disconnected from her family; her little brothers live in a world of their own, and she no longer trusts her parents because her mother is carrying on an affair. Her aloof nature and severely introverted personality have resulted in several public outbursts that distance Suzy from her surroundings — especially her well meaning but confused — even further.
When we meet these characters, they have run away together, Sam from camp and Suzy from her family. They barely know each other, but they are sure they are in love.
It is a concept they have scarcely come to understand, but the feeling is absolutely legitimate, for each gives the other something they have never had before: When they first meet, Sam immediately latches onto Suzy for who she is, not who others think she should be, and Suzy opens up without asking Sam to be anything other than himself.
The adults, and the audience in turn, begin to discover the simple truth I related above: Anderson has spent his entire career exploring the ways humans connect with one another, but never with this level of emotional honesty or characters this richly defined.
Watching the ensemble craft individuals of such staggering depth and complexity, sometimes with very limited screen time, is nothing short of miraculous. The reasons — that he, like everyone else, needs people in his life and benefits from being able to guide and assist others — are simple, but the emotions involved are not, and Norton brilliantly illustrates every feeling and realization Randy experiences.
The character stands among the most fascinating and memorable creations in the entire Wes Anderson canon. But for the adults — and the audience — to go through their respective arcs, there has to be a clear reason for them — and us — to believe in these kids. Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman provide this reason.
That sort of layered naturalism in young performers is nearly impossible to come by, but these two pull it off spectacularly.
Anderson never even feels compelled to let the adults pick up the emotional slack, as often happens in child-centric dramas. On a technical level, Moonrise Kingdom is unparalleled. Anderson is completely confident in his own tone and style, and while he pushes his particular dials close to 11 this time around, he does so with awe-inspiring precision, creating one of the most impressive movie atmospheres in recent memory.
New Penzance is a world unto itself, with a creative, beautiful design and clearly established geography. Cinematographer Robert Yeoman captures it all perfectly, and for the color scheme and framing, Anderson has borrowed liberally from visual techniques developed for Fantastic Mr.
The musical choices — a mixture of sixties tunes, classical music, and original pieces by Alexandre Desplat — are distinctly Anderson, but seamlessly integrated with the visuals to create an overarching tone so unified and assured that the film is practically hypnotic.
My estimation of the film grows higher with each passing minute, and I cannot wait to return and immerse myself in the world of New Penzance again in the future.
For now, Moonrise Kingdom is the best American film ofand it earns my highest recommendation.MARVELS GUARDIANS GALAXY ART OF MOVIE SLIPCASE HC VOL 02 The Guardians are back! After saving the universe, Star-Lord, Gamora, $ JACOB JOHNSON; Explore the fantastic worlds of Doctor Strange with exclusive concept artwork and in-depth analysis from the filmmakers.
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