"Remember, this isn't just a search party. It's a chance to do some first-class scouting."
Director Wes Anderson is to movies what Andy Warhol was to art: charming, whimsical, quirky. Heavy on the quirky. Moonrise Kingdom is classic Wes Anderson. Depending on your perspective, that is either a warning or warm invitation. I basked in it.
Set in mid-60s coastal New England, two twelve-year-olds—Sam, a geeky Boy Scout, and Suzy, a blooming actress—fall in love and run away into the wilderness. The search party that mobilizes includes a vigilante Boy Scout troop led by their chain-smoking Scoutmaster (Edward Norton); Suzy's parents, Walt (Bill Murray) and Laura (Frances McDormand); and the local constable, Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis). Tilda Swenton provides a disapproving presence as Social Services.
Moonrise Kingdom creates all-new archetypes—every character is memorable, unique, and hilarious, yet offering glimpses of touching vulnerability. Bruce Willis acts and brings forth an actual role that is not just Bruce Willis being Bruce Willis. Even with the zaniness, this film is like a lovely little Fabergé egg: a pretty set piece with surprises of even greater charm to be found inside.