In certain movies, there comes a single moment that completely changes one’s opinion of it. It can be due to an unnecessary twist, an out-of-character action, or the film completely switching gears, but really any individual thing can cause viewers to re-evaluate how they view a movie. I will not spoil Gus Van Sant’s new movie Promised Land, but, suffice it to say, it has one of those, which I will call Moment X for purposes of this review.
These off-realities of Wes Anderson’s movies also enable him to create gorgeous works, and Moonrise Kingdom is no exception. Filmed in glorious Technicolor, Moonrise Kingdom mimics the look of the 1960s with strong solid colors and an excellent collection of props and wardrobe. The film is populated with original artwork, memorable outfits, and cleverly designed sets that make the movie worth seeing on a big screen.
Although overall less offensive to one’s intelligence, this new movie is populated by the same mistakes as the 2009 effort. Bay once again fills his latest offering with useless subplots that go nowhere, secondary characters that affect nothing and do nothing (Rainn Wilson replaced by John Malkovich; Ken Jeong more-or-less filling the role played by Ramon Rodriguez), and relentlessly unfunny comic relief from both robots and humans.
McDormand ‘s stellar performance captures the complexity of her character by combining swift comic timing with nuanced moments of strained vulnerability. One moment during the second scene, she fixes her stare outside a dingy kitchen window to piercingly convey a rising desperation within. With honesty and clarity, Lindsay-Abaire and McDormand come together to create a compelling portrait that doesn’t beg for pity, but commands respect and serious contemplation.