You know what you’re getting when you sign on for watchmanship of a Wes Anderson movie. The filmmaker embraces what are arguably the most recognizable visual style and tone in contemporary cinema, always applying them to the offbeat stories of narcissistic, romantic men of varying ages, usually played by Bill Murray or Jason Schwartzman or a Wilson brother (if not all three). And from the looks of its new trailer, Anderson’s next movie Moonrise Kingdom doesn’t look to be much of an exception to his usual recipe. So, the question: is this a bad thing?
And the answer: no, unless you want it to be. Or yes, unless you don’t. Relativism!
Moonrise Kingdom tells a love story about two pre-adolescent campers who abandon their friends and families to live out a passionate expression of young love, and are subsequently hunted by a rigorous scoutmaster and his motley gathering of scouts. Anderson regulars Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman are joined by Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and Frances McDormand. Watch the trailer, and continue reading below to hear our staff’s divergent opinions on Moonrise Kingdom and Wes Anderson movies in general.
I am a steadfast, diehard, unwavering, [insert fourth synonym] Wes Anderson fan. I love Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums (as most do), Bottle Rocket and The Life Aquatic (as some do), and The Darjeeling Limited (as that one kid I met in the common room of my sophomore year dorm building did…although he was pretty drunk). Thus, I derive nothing but pure ecstasy for the fun, frenzied, off-kilter, very Andersony trailer for Moonrise Kingdom. Yes, the momentum is fueled heavily by the filmmaker’s trademark style, but it seems to have a passion and a humor that are more energetic and riveting than recent Anderson pictures. The vast collection of colorful characters looks to provide for a hearty ensemble performance, with all of the Anderson regulars and each of his newcomers working in accordance with a story that seems strange but lovely.
My editor Matt Patches, on the other hand, has a differing viewpoint on the Moonrise Kingdom trailer. While Matt is also a fan of Rushmore and Tenenbaums, he believes that Anderson has, throughout his career, become a sort of an accidental parody of himself, his trademark style standing in the way of real artistic substance. Patrons of the internet have probably come across one or two “If Wes Anderson Made This Movie”-type of parodies, such as the “Wes Anderson’s Spider-Man” video embedded below that you can watch here. Thus, Matt is worried that Moonrise Kingdom is following this pattern of more recent, over-stylized/unsubstantial “Wes Anderson parody” Wes Anderson films. Although I disagree with Matt, he does make a good point about Bill Murray’s resemblance of the classic Hook character Tootles in this trailer.
What do you think about the Moonrise Kingdom trailer? Where do you lie on the Wes Anderson debate? Which Hook character do you most resemble?