Cannes: What Are Critics Saying About Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom?'
The 2012 Cannes Film Festival is underway, with journalists from around the globe converging on the south of France for 12 days of international cinema. This year’s fest launched with an Opening Night screening of Wes Anderson’s latest comedy Moonrise Kingdom, which started receiving reviews from an eager press corps the minute the initial press screening broke.
Anderson’s Kingdom is littered with recognizable co-stars – from Edward Norton and Bruce Willis to longtime collaborator Bill Murray – but it centers on a tender relationship between a young scout and the girl who steals his heart.
What did everyone think?
"A blandly inexpressive title is the worst thing about Moonrise Kingdom, a willfully eccentric pubescent love story in which even the most minute detail has been attended to in the manner of the most obsessive maker of 19th century dollhouses," writes Todd McCarthy in the Hollywood Reporter. "This is a Wes Anderson film -- more lightweight than some, possessing a stronger emotional undertow than others -- that will strike the uninitiated as conspicuously arch."
IndieWire echoes the sentiment that Moonrise caters to Anderson’s base. "The idiosyncratic auteur's seventh feature eagerly pitches itself toward that first group of audiences [who adore Anderson] and ignores the rest. But those open to Anderson quirks will find a rewarding experience littered with warmth and playful humor."
Peter Bradshaw of The UK Guardian gives Anderson’s film 4 stars (out of a possible 5) and claims, "This was an evocation of young love in a younger, more innocent America. It was a very charming, beautifully wrought, if somehow depthless film — eccentric but heartfelt, and thought through to the tiniest, quirkiest detail in the classic Anderson style: there were the familiar rectilinear shots, and compositions with letters and drawings suddenly filled the screen like courtroom exhibits. … To some, Moonrise Kingdom may be nothing more than a soufflé of strangeness, but it rises superbly."
Kingdom will screen for Cannes crowds later on Wednesday, and eventually spread into wide release. The film, distributed by Focus Features, has a May 25 release date in limited markets. It will continue to roll out as the summer season progresses. It sounds like Anderson converts will be very pleased. But if you haven’t tried a Wes Anderson film (or don’t find them to your liking), is there anything about Kingdom that speaks to you? Will you give it a shot?
We have been hosting exclusive featurette from Moonrise over the past few weeks. Revisit them here. We’ll also have continued coverage from Cannes as the fest continues, so check back to our home page often.
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Sean O'ConnellFandango Bloggers
Sean is a film reviewer for The Washington Post and daily contributor to Fandango.