The tagline of the film reads "A tormenting and surprising story of children and adults during the stormy days of the summer of 1965." Which is what Moonrise Kingdom is all about. This romantic comedy-drama film directed by Wes Anderson, written by Anderson and Roman Coppola. A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out and find them.
Speaking of music, the soundtrack for this film features music by Benjamin Britten, a composer notable for his many works for children's voices. At Cannes, during the post-screening press conference, Anderson said that Britten's music "had a huge effect on the whole movie, I think. The movie's sort of set to it. The play of Noye's Fludde that is performed in it—my older brother and I were actually in a production of that when I was ten or eleven, and that music is something I've always remembered, and made a very strong impression on me. It is the colour of the movie in a way." With many Britten tracks taken from recordings conducted or supervised by the composer himself, the music includes The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (Introduction/Theme; Fugue), conducted by Leonard Bernstein; Friday Afternoons (Cuckoo; Old Abram Brown); Simple Symphony (Playful Pizzicato); Noye's Fludde (various excerpts, including the processions of animals into and out of the ark, and The spacious firmament on high); and A Midsummer Night's Dream (On the ground, sleep sound). An original score was composed by Alexandre Desplat, who worked previously with Anderson on The Fantastic Mr. Fox, with percussion compositions by frequent Anderson collaborator Mark Mothersbaugh. The final credits of the film features a deconstructed rendition of Desplat's original soundtrack in the style of Britten's Young Person's Guide, accompanied by a child's voice to introduce each instrumental section.
Typically stylish but deceptively thoughtful, Moonrise Kingdom finds Wes Anderson using ornate visual environments to explore deeply emotional ideas. In a very appealing if outre way, its sensibility and concerns are very much those of an earlier, more elegant era, meaning that the film's deepest intentions will fly far over the heads of most modern filmgoers. The film's shaggy-dog, sort-of-awkward-teen-romance yarn offers laughs and energy that make this Anderson's most fun film since Rushmore. To conclude, I've had my Wes Anderson breakthrough – or maybe it's that he's had his. The film is a marvelous contraption, a wheels-within-wheels thriller that's pure oxygenated movie play.
Simon says Moonrise Kingdom receives: