Can We Please Keep Talking About ‘Moonrise Kingdom’?


The hype may have died down, seeing as how the movie’s been out since May but I recently read that Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom is one of a handful of indie films still doing really well at the box office. The film is now in its second week of wide release and managed to gross an additional $4.6 million. Ok, and the truth is I just saw it Saturday night and I need to talk about it with you guys! Lovers of Wes Anderson/Bill Murray/all things quirky and wonderful meet me inside for a short list of things Wes Anderson/Moonrise Kingdom taught me.

Five Things I Learned About Being An Artist During Moonrise Kingdom
*some of these lessons I’d learned before, but it was nice to have a reminder
** no real, heavy spoilers ahead– mainly little, artsy spoilers ahead

1. It’s all about the small things.

Who can explain that heart-soaring feeling I had during the opening scene, as we were taken from room to room? I fell in love, at first sight! The details in each section of the house were so out of this world, it was like we were being taken on some kind of epic dollhouse tour. With his attention to the small things, Anderson made his film the most romantic piece of art I’ve experienced in… maybe forever.

2. Well-done allusions to sex are often more powerful than blatant depictions of the act itself.

Everyone had been talking about Moonrise Kingdom as if it were the sweetest, most innocent little love story ever told. Which is why I was shocked at how sexual/sensual/sexual things got between the pre-teen couple Suzy and Sam. I mean, that first kiss on the beach was cRaZy intense! But somehow the characters still came off as two completely innocent creatures… who knew exactly what they wanted. The actors as artists and the director as an artist were completely genius in moments like this. And the entire film consisted of moments like this, where the delicate balance between subtlety and matter-of-fact-ness was perfectly maintained.

3. Children live and create without fear; artists should try to do this more often.

One of my many favorite moments of Moonrise Kingdom was when Sam strung the suitcases along a rope across the stream. The image of him– in perfect confidence– pulling their baggage over to the other side was beautiful. In that moment, we knew that he was master of all he surveyed and that as long as he was in control, he (and we) had nothing to be afraid of.

4. Nothing beats a good love letter. All artists should seriously consider writing the occasional love letter.

It’s so hard not to write a major spoiler here…. aghhh…. but that moment when Suzy’s mother (played by the brilliant Frances McDormand) discovers the love letters, which included Sam’s artwork? Love! “He paints mostly landscapes, and the occasional nude.” LOL!!!!! I think that’s when I fell in love with Moonrise Kingdom. Wait, no, I was already in love. That’s when it became one of my all-time favorite films. Such intimacy! Such honesty in those letters! From 12-year olds. Sigh.

5. The Bible is (among many other things which we will not address at the present time), always a great resource for the artist.

All of the Noah’s ark/Genesis references tied in so perfectly– again we had this common childhood story working its way throughout the script and it was as simple as it was poignant. More sighing.

Who else saw Moonrise Kingdom?! How happy were you afterwards and how badly did you want to run home and watch The Royal Tenenbaums?

If you haven’t seen it, see it! And enjoy these clips in the meantime!


  • Bonanza

    I totally agree Shannon! I saw Moonrise Kingdom on Wednesday and fell in love even deeper with Wes Anderson. Have you heard of the Wes Anderson movie Bingo game someone created? I think Trent put it in one of his links sections a few weeks ago. It’s so fun to see how each of his movies has these incredible visual and plot based themes that pop up in the most quirky of ways from film to film. <3!

    • Bonanza, I had NOT heard about Wes Anderson bingo, but I just looked it up. LOVE! That is probably the coolest thing ever, lmao! Thanks for commenting!

  • melissa

    I saw this back in May and am trying to get everyone I know to see it now! So good! I had zero complaints, I’m not a huge Edward Norton fan anymore but he was fantastic in it, seemed like a character I’ve never seen him play. And I could watch Bill Murray and Frances McDormand read the Value Menu at McDonalds.

    • melissa, yes everyone– even Ed Norton– got on board with Wes Anderson’s vision. It was perfect. Thanks for commenting!

  • Madeline

    I just saw this last weekend. I loved it! I love all Wes Anderson films but this may be my new favorite. I, too, was surprised by how sexual/sensual/sexual the relationship was between Sam and Suzy. Did anyone else think of Suzy as Margot Tenenbaum’s long lost sister (or mother, because of timing)?

    • LMAO, yes Madeline! Suzy and Margot def had some similarities. Good stuff!

  • ah. saw this yesterday, finally, and cannot stop thinking about it! it was amazing! such a great story and so beautiful. loved it!

    • rita, even though I saw it recently I’m totally jealous that you just watched it, lol! It’s the best!