SPECIAL REPORT FROM CANNES
Pre-teen love and rainbow eccentricity opened the 65th Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday. Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom served up an unusually amusing, toybox-like fantasy as a curtain raiser to the 12-day festival known for its roll-call of prestigious titles and pensive arthouse fares. But actually, Anderson's film about two 12-year-olds who fall in love and elope captures the dual modality that Cannes has always juggled with masterful trickery: an auteur movie by a brand-name filmmaker, and a dash of Hollywood magnetics and red carpet-worthy cast. This year we'll especially see that a lot more in the next 10 days.
Moonrise Kingdom (which opens in Bangkok next month) is a children's love story crafted through that signature Wes Anderson's lens of childish quirk, dollhouse aesthetics, and a whiff of pre-pubescent sadness that comes when adults turn out to be more disappointing than children expect them to be. In the leading roles are two young newcomers, Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, playing Sam and Suzy, two disaffected, alienated youngsters who're too smart for the people around them _ the kind of precocious kids that usually populated the Anderson's universe since Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and his the deliciously sardonic animation Fantastic Mr Fox.
Set in the 1965 on a remote New England island accessible only by boat, Moonrise Kingdom is told largely through the eyes of the children _ of the two young lovers, and also of Anderson, perhaps the tallest kid in the room. When Sam and Suzy run away into the wilderness _ the benign forest and enchanting beach of this isolated island _ Sam's scoutmaster (Edward Norton), the island's sole constable (Bruce Willis), Suzy's lawyer parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand), along with a bunch of boy scouts who believe Sam is emotionally disturbed, set out to track them down as the hurricane warning sounds. Soon Tilda Swinton also turns up, magnificently overbearing, as a social worker bent on putting Sam in an orphanage.
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