Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Wes Anderson (who wrote The Darjeeling Limited) tells us the unlikely love story of orphaned Sam (Jared Gilman) and rebellious Suzie (Kara Hayward), two 12 year old outcasts who make good on a pact to run away together.
Their efforts are thwarted by Scout Master Ward (an endearing Edward Norton) and the local sheriff, Captain Sharpe (Bruce Willis) who together with Suzie’s parents launch a search party for the love struck duo.
Between blood hungry boy scouts (think Lord of the Flies), an oncoming hurricane and a hard-arse social services worker, the subplots that manoeuvre this tale sit firmly on the fence of ridiculous.
While the outrageousness of the twists could have easily turned the film into a mess, the theatrical storytelling only adds to the general nostalgic charm of the film.
Anderson seems to have perfected the balance between emotion and comedy, seamlessly translating what could have been a cheesy family film into a quirky, artistic tale. With the whimsical visuals and hilariously heart warming script, Moonrise Kingdom is everything you want in a film about childhood sweethearts.
Verdict: Four stars