This is now my least favorite Wes Anderson film, replacing Rushmore. As I am sure you know, it’s about two “troubled” pre-teens who run away from home/camp because they’re so in love. Everything about their lives, from knee socks to calculatedly adorable book collection to deadpan speech patterns, is art-directed within an inch of its life. And past.

And that’s the problem with Moonrise Kingdom. Instead of stylish and mannered (like most other Wes Anderson work), it’s clunky and unreal. The children are desperately unrelatable and stabby, and no other character, with the possible, intermittent example of Edward Norton’s scoutmaster, is drawn even slightly in the round.

Look, we all want to believe that we were the troubled but gifted kid who just needed to be understood. But we weren’t. We were ordinary. And that’s fine. Because we probably didn’t stab anyone. Which is good.

I legitimately don’t get why everyone loved this movie and thought it was adorable. Not even a little bit. It’s gorgeous, sure, it was always going to be that. And everything is careful, too. But aside from a few amusing sight gags and scout jokes, it makes its stars unsuccessfully walk a line between twee and unexpectedly mature. You don’t want anything bad to happen to the kids, but that’s because you’re a human being and they’re kids, not because they’re charming or special.

Stray observations:

  • I am not a hater; I loved 2014’s Grand Budapest Hotel, I think Darjeeling Limited is terrific, and I’m the only person in the world who liked Life Aquatic.
  • Tilda Swinton is so good at being scary without even trying.

Director: Wes Anderson
Rating: PG-13
Length: 94 minutes
Score: 2/5

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