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Moonrise Kingdom

Elle and I went to see Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom Sunday night. She had picked it out, because it is a love story between two children and it looked sweet.

It was a fairly enjoyable movie. Set in 1965, it's the story  of a strange nerdy young Khaki Scout (pretty much the equivalent of a boy scout) who runs away with an even stranger and nerdier young girl. Ed Norton plays the no-nonsense scoutmaster. He takes his job very seriously, to the point of keeping an audio log on a reel-to-reel tape recorder. Bruce Willis plays a small town police captain.

It's a lot of fun to watch Norton and Willis trying to catch the two young lovers. A lot of their dialog is reminiscent of old police dramas where the cops were working together to catch more egregious offenders. It works as parody, but it also works on a realistic level because this is probably the biggest case Captain Sharp (Willis's character...I don't recall him being given a first name) has ever worked on.

Willis's performance was the best I'd ever seen from him. His character could have been one of the action heroes from his previous films who had retired, got a job in a sleepy little town, and mellowed with age.

It wasn't a perfect movie. At times Anderson's idiosyncratic directing style was distracting and diluted the emotional impact the movie could have had. It's hard to put my finger on what I would change, although the film could have done without Bob Balaban as an old fisherman functioning as a greek chorus. There was also a subplot about an affair between two of the adult characters that was underdeveloped and completely unnecessary.

Elle liked it, although slightly less than I did. Her tastes in entertainment are slightly more conservative than mine. She liked all the New England scenery and the shots of the young girls house. She said she would give it  6 out of 10 stars. I would give it 7.

Despite not being completely satisfied, I would recommend this movie. I liked it, and if you are a devout Wes Anderson fan you will like it even more than I did.
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