I jumped at the chance to get out of the house when my spouse suggested we take in a movie. We had seen a trailer for Moonrise Kingdom a few weeks ago—I was intrigued. To begin with, Bruce Willis in a movie with Bill Murray and Frances McDormand was quite a combination. We arrived at the AMC theater and tried (repeatedly) to buy tickets. It was senior night, but the young man (apparently his first day), was unable to charge us less than a dinner for two at the Capital Grill. After a brief conversation with the manager, we finally got in and were in time for the trailers for an upcoming movie Hyde Park on Hudson starring no other than Bill Murray as President Roosevelt. It looks great.
Moonrise Kingdom is the charming story of a pair of kids (about Romeo and Juliet’s age) that fall in love and make elaborate plans to run away—sort of. They live on an island off the coast of New England so they can’t go very far in a miniature canoe. As the story unraveled, I was pleasantly surprised by the writing, wit and jabs at the establishment. One nameless character “Social Services” stuck out as especially stereotypical, but that furthered the plot.
Sam (played by Jared Gilman), while purportedly an out-of-control orphaned youth, was one of the least troubled kids in the movie. Suzy (played by Kara Hayward) was just as troubled, confused as any thirteen-year-old girl. The fact that she carried a good-sized suitcase of her favorite books the whole way (and read to the lost boys at night) was especially touching—and funny. I also enjoyed the seemingly endless supply of children dressed in felt animal costumes standing two-by-two in the wings for the church play about Noah.
As to the rating: It’s PG-13. There was brief nudity (we saw Frances McDormand’s breast from the side for about 6 frames (OMG). While there was kissing and light petting, the love scenes were sweet and innocent. There was implied violence and a number of bloody shirts and noses. And a dog (the dog from The Artist) was killed by an errant arrow. I would wait until my granddaughters are 13 before I would take them, but I expect more mature kids would thoroughly enjoy it.
I wish I had written down the titles of all the books Suzy read. Can anyone fill me in? As a young-adult writer, I would love to be able to capture the innocence of this lovely story. Go see it. You’ll come out smiling.