Monday, November 12, 2012

10 Random Thoughts I Had While Watching "Moonrise Kingdom" on DVD

1. Boy am I way behind in my movie viewing this Oscar-film season! I'm only just getting around to watching my Moonrise Kingdom DVD, which I've had for months, and the film was released way back in May.

2. I love the description of the classical-music concept of variations on a theme at the beginning of a movie. I already knew all of this, but the way it's described here makes me want to spend all day tomorrow listening to Beethoven, which might be proof of the nerd that's still alive and well inside me.

3. I wonder if most adults think of themselves as having been misfit kids, no matter how popular they actually were. I can just imagine moviegoers around the U.S. watching the antics of Sam and Suzy in Moonrise Kingdom, pointing to the screen and mouthing to the person beside them, "That was me." Only it probably wasn't. As a former misfit kid (weren't we all?), I'm willing to buy that there were more of us than I realized at the time, but we were still the silent minority.

4. I guess it makes for a "cooler" screenplay, but in this post-The Big Bang Theory world, doesn't it seem like misfit kids are almost always overly precocious and smarter than all the adults around them? Back in my day, misfits ran the gamut from brilliant to bumbling, which was pretty much the point of Revenge of the Nerds (1984).

5. Watching Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton in the same movie reminds me of their one unforgettable scene together in the 2005 film Broken Flowers. That Best Supporting Actress Oscar win for Michael Clayton was no fluke. Swinton makes an excellent shrew. But I prefer her as the heroine because it means she gets more screen time.

6. What a nice touch and a clever nod to Wes Anderson's fellow maverick director Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction to have Harvey Keitel pop up here as another "fixer." I wonder why his status as an Oscar nominee didn't qualify him for the above-the-title treatment.

7. How strange to be watching a movie about a New England hurricane less than two weeks after Sandy devastated my own former moonrise kingdom, New York City.

8. If Amy Adams ever gets a starring role in a film where they need to cast a 14-year-old version of her, Kara Hayward should get the job.

9. I've always been a fan of Bruce Willis, who is still nicely balancing big-budget and indie film work. He doesn't get enough credit for being one of the few '80s film stars who is still relevant and remains a competitive box-office draw.

10. My favorite thing about Moonrise Kingdom (besides its excellent, non-intrusive use of music, especially during the climactic sequence atop the church steeple) might be the cinematography. The movie was filmed so that it looks like you're watching it through a View-Master, and the indoor scenes seem to have been shot on location in doll houses. It's an appropriate visual scheme for a movie that's all about the wonder and isolation of childhood.
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