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DVD review: Anderson's childlike whimsy lights up 'Moonrise Kingdom'

Published October 11, 2012 3:01 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Grade • A

DVD • Director Wes Anderson's brand of whimsy works best when associated with children — whether the high-school challenges of "Rushmore," the animated humor of Roald Dahl's "The Fantastic Mr. Fox," and now with "Moonrise Kingdom," a gently comic tale of pre-teen romance and rebellion.

Suzy (Kara Hayward) and Sam (Jared Gilman) run away together, each leaving their lives on their tiny New England island: she from her distracted parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) and he from his scout camp. Suzy's parents, Sam's scoutmaster (Edward Norton) and the town sheriff (Bruce Willis) form an awkward search party, as the two young lovers try to start a new life in the wild. Anderson (co-writing with Roman Coppola) employs a formal shooting structure and nostalgic views of '60s life to capture the yearning of his innocent leads and the prolonged sadness of their jaded elders.

Hayward and Gilman are scene-stealers, and Willis gives a touching performance as the gravely sympathetic lawman. Extras include several featurettes, including a set tour with Murray.