For a few minutes, you’ll be thinking “What?”, but stick with it, and Moonrise Kingdom is one of those films that suck you in completely, almost without you noticing it.
There’s a quirkiness and an originality about the whole thing which gets under your skin. The result is a perfect delight, a piece of movie-making to cherish.
Director/co-writer Wes Anderson teams up with screenwriter Roman Coppola for this period comedy drama set in the 1960s, and between them they coax the very best from their two young leads, Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, two 12-year-olds who fall in love on their island home off the New England coast and decide to elope.
Strange and lonely Sam goes AWOL from the scout camp, but takes with him all the survival skills he’ll ever need. He gives Suzy precise instructions as to where to meet him and off they go. Sam’s seriousness and Suzy’s sweetness are a totally-winning combination. The islanders try to track them down; and you know it won’t be long until they are found.
But one of the many joys of this gem of a film is the way their disappearance triggers all sorts of reappraisals in the hearts of all sorts of people, not least the police chief, played by a Bruce Willis showing considerably more subtlety than he usually does on the big screen.
The charm of this film envelops you completely without ever cloying; everything is judged to perfection in a mini-masterpiece you won’t ever want to end.
Bill Murray, Edward Norton and Frances McDormand are excellent in support, none of them untouched by Sam and Suzy’s flight.
DVD rental supplied by Blockbuster. For details of other new DVD releases see www.blockbuster.co.uk.