While watching another dollhouse-like piece from Wes Anderson, I could not help but make comparisons between the most eccentric yet beautiful film creator of our time and another auteur: Alfred Hitchcock.
When I discuss these Anderson and Hitchcock in the same sentence, it is to talk about them, not as directors, or even filmmakers, but as auteurs – They control every aspect that we see on the screen. They determine which way the shot is framed, how the camera will move, how the film will be edited, and most importantly, they tell the actors exactly what to do, leaving them with no choice or freedom. There is only one right film, and that is the one in these auteurs minds, every thing else just gets in the way.
As “Moonrise Kingdom” progressed, I realized that the roles of Edward Norton, Francis McDormand and Bruce Willis were not giving their own performances, but were merely acting out Wes Anderson’s ideas. As a result, we get this distinctive style of filmmaking that cannot be mistaken for anyone other than Anderson.
In the end, we are left with a product that often feels other-worldly in its execution. As if this film was made by an alien who had observed human behavior but does not truly understand it, with so much blank space and vague expressions. The alien may know what it all means, but has a strange way of saying it.
Overall, I left “Moonrise Kingdom” feeling the same way I did about “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Rushmore,” that Wes Anderson’s style is the most bizarre yet entrancing filmmaking I have seen. It is so off-putting that I can’t take my eyes off it.
Final Grade: B+
Coming Next: “The Revenant” and My Top 10 Films of 2015