The Howling Review: Moonrise Kingdom

July 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

You Are Now Entering ChickChaw Territory


With sun drenched eyes & bronzed skin, I welcome the cool breeze upon my face. Summer is in full swing; the time is right for day dreaming & playing under warm, starlit nights. Like that glorious breeze, my thoughts float back to New Penzance. Wes Anderson’s latest opus is the perfect ode to summer.

As our faithful Narrator explains the intricate geography of the charming island, I longed to walk its unpaved paths, look out from its lighthouses and of course, enter ChickChaw Territory. My sense of adventure stoked, I marvelled at every scene, and coveted that portable record player each bird costume with a very greedy gaze. Anderson’s attention to detail is only rivaled by his immense imagination; from one big kid to another, I think he’s aces.

Compass _& _Tang_Will_Go_Far_Moonrise_Kingdom_Howling_Antiquity_Vintage

From old cans of Tang, scout badges, saddle shoes & Francoise Hardy, this film made me long for camping trips with my Girl Guide troop. I must admit, I would have much rather preferred the company of Suzy & Sam.


Speaking of those two scene-stealers, I was thoroughly impressed with the debut performances of Kara Hayward & Jared Gilman. Anderson has an eye for spotting excellent, young ingenues {*ahem Jason Schwartzman} and these two definitely follow in the footsteps of one Max Fischer. My heart skipped a beat when he so pointedly asked her,


“No, I said, what kind of bird are you?”


“I’m a Raven”

I’ve asked myself the same question, but never had a smashing costume to match.



They were so mature.Regardless of having the vibe of a kids adventure flick, Moonrise was as sophisticated as any of Anderson’s previous endeavors. The stories fueling the plot-line were heavy for this idyllic island; frolicking youngsters needn’t worry about the woes of adult life. Sad Sally knew about her Mum & the Sheriff; their affair pushed this sensitive creature deeper into emotional despair. Poor Sam, upon discovering his escape from Khaki Scouts, his foster parents wanted nothing to do with him and cooly rejected him if he were to return. Throw in the looming concrete bunks of juvenile refuge and the determined Tilda Swinton known only as Social Services, I don’t blame Sam for hatching an escape. My absolute favorite line was delivered by the incredible Edward Norton as Scout Master Randy,

Jiminy Cricket! He Flew the Coop!_Moonrise_Kingdom_Howling_Antiquity_Vintage_Toronto

“Jiminy Cricket! He flew the coop!”

I loved Sam’s determination and cheered him over every cliff, through each ravine and over raging rivers. He was a true blue scout who had his wits about him, but remained a chivalrous gent presenting his lady wildflowers when they met in the middle. I will always remember him venturing off into the wilderness to Kaw-Liga

“He always wore his sunday feathers and held a tomahawk
The maiden wore her beads and braids and hoped someday he’d talk
Kaw-liga – a, too stubborn to ever show a sign
Because his heart was made of knotty pine.”

This soundtrack, although not as eclectic as his other films, it did resonate the emotional landscape of New Penzance. Using ole Hank, the lovely Francoise {“My God Mother is French”}, and some Benjamin Britten, this soundtrack had a transportive quality; I appreciate what Anderson was striving for. I must admit, being set in 1965 and having the obvious youth in revolt, rebel yell themes, it would have been killer to have mixed in some rare gems of the Animals, Herman’s Hermits, Sam the Sham, the Four Tops and the usual suspects, the Kinks, The Rolling Stones & the Beatles (who’ve made previous track listings).

Moonrise Kingdom is an absolute must-see for all those who are young at heart & bloom brightest under the summer sun. It was pure magic and a return to auteaur-style filmmaking which is a refreshing reprieve from the schlock being shilled by the movie biz. Each location, prop, hemline & fine detail showed immense care and forethought. Wrap them over a phenomenal cast, quick witted dialogue & one can immediately identify it as a Wes Anderson picture. Bravo!


So go back to the sunshine, jump on your bike and take a spin around Bellwoods or head down to the Queens Quay. Tune out your technology and turn onto nature. Get yer yeah-yeah’s out, my Happy Howlers and y’all have an amazing summer! xo

Wes_Anderson _Moonrise_Kingdom_Howling_Antiquity_Vintage


P.S. Check out the inspired & gorgeous finds the chica’s at Good Twin. Bad Twin found. Kudos! 



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