great A es­cape

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MOVIES - LEIGH PAATSCH

A TYP­I­CAL Wes An­der­son pro­duc­tion is the movies’ equiv­a­lent of a ship in a bot­tle. You have no op­tion but to mar­vel at the in­tri­cate de­sign of the self- en­closed world laid out be­fore you.

While Moonrise King­dom does not rad­i­cally break rank from An­der­son’s best- known works ( Rush­more, The Royal Te­nen­baums and the stop- mo­tion an­i­ma­tion clas­sic The Fan­tas­tic Mr Fox ), it marks a sig­nif­i­cant ex­pan­sion of the all­round tal­ents of a truly gifted film­maker.

The year is 1965, on a re­mote Amer­i­can is­land known as New Pen­zance.

Two pre­co­cious 12- year- old pen pals have run away to­gether.

They may not ul­ti­mately get very far. Nev­er­the­less, young Sam ( Jared Gil­man) and Suzy ( Kara Hay­ward) have roused the full at­ten­tion, anger and con­cern of all who re­side on New Pen­zance.

While this would- be Romeo and Juliet naively try to live off the land while re­main­ing on the lam, mul­ti­ple search par­ties fan out across the is­land.

One is spear­headed by a bum­bling, chain- smok­ing scout leader ( Ed­ward Nor­ton). An­other is act­ing on the say- so of the only cop in the area ( a won­der­ful Bruce Wil­lis).

As Sam is an or­phan, the au­thor­i­ties ( rep­re­sented by Tilda Swin­ton) want him found and in­sti­tu­tion­alised.

As Suzy has al­ways been a prob­lem child, her par­ents ( Bill Mur­ray and Frances McDor­mand) want her found and grounded for life.

This scrappy and rather ab­surd chase sce­nario is not to be taken lightly, and can­not be re­jected out of hand.

There are wise emo­tional truths, and beau­ti­fully ren­dered tinges of hu­mour and sor­row ex­pertly wo­ven through a tight­lythreaded screen­play.

Ev­ery vis­i­ble el­e­ment of An­der­son’s new film is mi­cro- man­aged with manic pre­ci­sion.

A ran­dom se­lec­tion of any 100 frames from Moonrise King­dom could ef­fort­lessly be re- pur­posed as a gallery ex­hi­bi­tion, such is the re­fined stylis­tic sen­si­bil­ity on dis­play.

How­ever, where past An­der­son works were happy enough to have view­ers sit back and ad­mire the ex­pe­ri­ence, Moonrise King­dom in­vites ev­ery­one to lean for­ward and get in­volved.

Most will hap­pily ac­cept, and be truly en­rap­tured by what un­folds.

FOL­LOW THE LEADER: Kara Hay­ward, Jared Gil­man and Ja­son Schwartz­man in the com­edy- drama Moonrise King­dom.

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