Moonrise Kingdom Review

Words by Oliver Morris

Moonrise Kingdom is the new film by director Wes Anderson, that Premiered this year on limited release in cinemas and, much to my hipster friend’s chargrin, I failed to see it. It sounded cory, I didn’t know who Wes Anderson was and I let it float by.

Then someone told me that Wes Anderson was the same guy who directed ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’. Now, I loved that film because it felt intensely real and completely surreal at the same time. And George Clooney. Jesus, I love that guy.

So finally I allowed myself to be persuaded to watch ‘Moonrise Kingdom’, popcorn and beer in hand.). The film was a new film experience. Set in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the sixties, ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ charts the epic, Hollywood, Bonny-and-Clyde-esque love affair between two preteens.

However, every other inhabitant of this small island, with everyone from Scout Leaders, parents to the actual police force are determined to keep them apart. What results is a love story of epic proportions.

What I found truly remarkable in ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ was how committed the two main characters were to their narrative. They are kids bought up on Pulp Romance and Action Fiction, and are playing the roles of star-crossed lovers to perfection.

Also, Anderson’s aesthetic forces the view to accept they’re observing a performance. Whether it be the owl eyes of the binoculars, or constant framing, or the frankly bizarre nature of the island.

What will stick with me however, is how the adult characters are sucked into this epic romance. Their issues take a back seat, all their attention channelled into these Star-Crossed lovers. And I was drawn in to. And so will you. Go watch it.

Lost in Translation Review

Words by Naomi Jeffreys

****

Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansonn star in this quiet, reflective Romantic Comedy about two people who should so be together, but the ambiguous ending leaves us, the audience wanting more. Directed by Sofia Coppola.

The film follows; ‘a fading movie star (Murray) with a sense of emptiness, and a neglected young wife (Johansson) meet as strangers in Tokyo and form an unlikely bond.

Released in 2003, the film was commercial and critical success. earning $119,723,856 million worldwide, which is staggering considering its budget of $4 million.

The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and  Best Original Screenplay – which Coppola won. What is more, Johansson won a BAFTA for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

To the film itself, there is something a quiet about this film. It reminds me of Wong Kar Wai’s ‘Chungking Express’, the characters of Bob and Charlotte are lost, not only in translation, but lost in life. And, in each other, they find something which is missing, a part of themselves.

Coppola constantly gently pokes fun at the Japanese culture, small showers, the reliance on technology, the noises, the alien smells. There are many scenes, inter-scenes, one might call them, with Johansson wandering around the city and then escaping to the solitude of the suburbs.

However, where Murray and Johansson underplay their characters, making them achingly real and familiar. Their partners, their husband and wife, seem sadly one dimensional. Giovanni Ribisi (‘Friends’) plays Joahnson’s photographer husband, John. Decked with flashy glasses and a yearn for nothing talk. He feels sadly unreal.

If you’re looking for quick wit, excellent acting and a film which pushes the boundaries of its genre. Then watch this almost perfect film.