Movie Monday: Whimsy and Wonder inside Moonrise Kingdom

Earlier today I was in a sour, Monday-type of mood. The only cure: a new movie filled with whimsy and hope. So off to the theater I went to trek into a whole new world from the mind of director Wes Anderson, a world called “Moonrise Kingdom.”

with a cast like this it had to be good…
The New York Times introduced the movie this way:

Wes Anderson makes films about small worlds in which big things happen: love, heartbreak, calamities, death. In his latest, the wondrous storybook tale “Moonrise Kingdom,” a girl and a boy, both 12, run off to a remote inlet on an island where most of the adults seem disappointed and more than a little sad. The girl and the boy are very serious — about love, their plans, books, life itself — and often act older than their age. She wears bright blue eyeliner; he puffs on a corncob pipe. You wonder what their hurry is, given that here adulthood, with its quarrels, regrets and anguished pillow talk, can feel as dangerous as the storm that’s hurtling toward the island, ready to blow it all down.”


The storm certainly does hit, but the island wasn’t the only thing blown away as my imagination tried to hold on to my seat. By the end I could let it sail away in the off-shore winds of whimsy and wonder this movie inspired.

If the trailer was any indication, I should’ve known it wouldn’t be an average story. Although this was what I initially expected, I wasn’t ready for the big characters whose even bigger dreams would melt my heart with inspiration. The children’s persistence to follow their dreams, despite a world of grown-ups who are more of a mess than they admit, is a realistic window into the hope of our younger generation. We are stuck on an island as they are, in a sense armed with all we could ever need, but the depressing realities of adult failure chase us through a forest of faith. The hope that Moonrise Kingdom leaves us with is that some determination, friendship, and courage can give us the strength to fight for the love we believe in.

Moonrise Kingdom is a place of true whimsy – it represents the hope we all hold on to and the dreams we want to run away with. We can chart a course, pitch a tent, then experiment with adolescent kisses and mature knowledge until we find ourselves caught in desperation. Faced with the decision to jump or face a hopeless existence, the child inside us all only needs the hand of a friend to reach out and say “I’m on your side.” Luckily in this movie that friend was Bruce Willis. In my world, that hand is Jesus (whether or not he looks like Bruce Willis though I can’t say).

Do you have a favorite Wes Anderson film?

Have you seen the movie – what were your thoughts?

What’s a movie you like that inspires you to hope in big dreams?

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