|Cast: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Jason Schwartzman, Bob Balaban, Harvey Keitel, |
Director(s): Wes Anderson
Genre: Coming-of-Age Drama
Wes Anderson does it again - what a lovely, sweet, gem of a movie. Full of charm, vibrant performances, quirky dialogue, and the usual picturesque backgrounds and storybook set designs that Anderson is known for. The cast is accomplished, lots of big names, but no one hams it up or outdoes anyone else - in fact, the main focus are the kids in the cast, the two main leads who fall in love and try to have an innocent summer fling despite the rules and restrictions of the adults in their world. On paper this may sound cornball, but it is not delivered that way at all. It is quite humourous, but the humour is delivered very straight-up and deadpan. And just on pure visual merit, every shot is set up perfectly. Very symmetrical and face-forward, like pages from a child's book or a series of Alex Colville paintings, taking in the landscapes of a small coastal island and all its fields, storms, lighthouses and shores, campgrounds and treehouses. Little details, some seeming inconsequential, make all the difference from scene to scene, entrenching the characters and the vistas into a whole fantastical play that, although a little loopy, seems grounded in reality. The colour palette and costumes just add to it, without being garish. And Bob Balaban as the narrator, speaking to the camera in a Steve Zissou-esque outfit, punctuates the story matter-of-factly, as if it were a read-along - you can almost hear the 'ping!' as you turn the page. On par with Anderson's best work, and one of the better films of this year.
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