It is said that one of the indicators of a great director is that when you see a section of a film they’ve made, in isolation, you can tell who has made it. That their style is a fingerprint that easily identifies them. One director who fits into this category is Wes Anderson. His incredible attention to detail is apparent in all of his films. He explains purpose and relationship and beautifully gives you the context of the story he’s telling. Rather like a novelist setting the scene before the protagonists begin.
This is the case with
, to an extent. We are shown an island off the east coast of Moonrise Kingdom ; we are also shown a house and it’s habitants of two parents and their sons and daughters. In the house they play Benjamin Britten’s Young Persons’ Guide to the Orchestra. This shows us how important different elements are in making up a whole, and that those instruments, however seemingly insignificant so of them may seem have their part to play in the prosecution and the outcome of the piece. America
Suzy is the girl living with her parents and brothers. She’s thirteen and spends her time reading novels and observing life through binoculars. She meets up with Sam in a field and they go off together to elope, and therefore go missing. He is a Khaki Scout who has resigned his place and no longer wishes to return home, as he is living in a foster home and doesn’t get on so well there. Unconventional family units are another of
’s motifs. Whether there is a portrayal of adopted children or there are families that just don’t get along at all, to the point where they falling apart. Anderson
Another characteristic of
is the apparent overcomplication in descriptions and depictions. It’s rather joyous to see Sam walk through all of the rooms seeing all of the cast members of Noye’s Fludde, all those people dressed up in their costumes, before he met Suzy for the first time. The cast certainly outnumbered the audience. There are often outrageous overreactions to events and behaviour that verges on being unsafe and unwise. The Police officer requisitions a number of well armed Khaki Scouts into his search party to find the eloped couple, for instance. Anderson
Also as along with his other films children are again depicted as being far more complicated and worldly wise than the bickering and petty adults. Sam and Suzy act in a very urbane manner as they discuss life in general, books and art. Suzy’s parents seem to take part in a succession of one-upmanship exercises, the Scout leaders seem far more interested in their own situation and position than anything else and Sam’s foster parents only have their own interests at heart.
This is a lovingly made, intricate film by a filmmaker who has built a reputation for ideosyncracy which is well deserved, and he continues to build on that. What I like about this film is that he has created ridiculous, almost surreal situations, but they are executed in such a way that the audience is always engaged. That's drama I suppose.