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Moonrise Kingdom (free)

  • Memorial Union Terrace 800 Langdon Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

A quintessentially Wes Anderson film uses its very Wes Anderson style to touching effect. Info


Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom (2012) adds yet another strong coming-of-age tale to WUD Film's Lakeside Cinema season this summer and kicks a little something for the twee set as well. Some will argue that The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) is the most Wes Anderson-y of all of Anderson's films, but I think Moonrise Kingdom deserves that title. It's as highly stylized as you'd expect from this auteur, and as you'd also expect, it leaves little room for compromise: you either really love it or it's just not for your consumption. Either way, this bittersweet, poignant tale of two star-crossed 12-year-olds who run away to be together keenly evokes the twinges of pain that come with a first love, but Anderson steeps that feeling in his matter-of-fact yet absurdly funny storytelling. 

Then there's the Anderson hallmark of an ensemble cast, and here he pulls together both some Anderson regulars and some outliers. Moonrise Kingdom boasts Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Bruce Willis, and an earnest turn by Edward Norton as Scout Master Ward, to name a few. And as much as the film epitomizes just about everything we're used to soaking up from Anderson films, he still uses his rigorous style to his benefit without the schtick growing old. Again, if it's not your jam, that's understandable. However, Anderson's brilliant style of portraying children who act like adults and adults who act like children makes Moonrise Kingdom one of his most engaging and whimsical productions to date. —Edwanike Harbour

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Later Event: July 11
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