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Today’s Netflix pick is a delightfully quirky drama from a man who has made a career out of such, this time delivering one of his best, most fully-developed character studies yet. Starring a large ensemble cast, including Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, and Tilda Swinton, the eccentric story is both very amusing but also surprisingly deep, a genuinely moving little tale that is more than the the outstanding visuals it nestles within. It’s Moonrise Kingdom and it’s what you’re watching tonight. Here’s why.
THE STORY: Directed by Wes Anderson, it follows a 12-year-old boy named Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman), an orphan participating in a Khaki Scout summer camp called Camp Ivanhoe, led by Scoutmaster Randy Ward (Edward Norton). A year earlier, Sam met Suzy (Kara Hayward), who lives with her large family on Summer’s End. The two kids are peas in a pod, introverted but highly intelligent and very mature for their ages. They decided to run off together and make a go of it alone on the island. They pack the essentials (a list that is adorable as well as kinda practical) and head off, prompting a search by many, including local police Captain Duffy Sharp (Willis), who has a few secrets of his own. Now, how long can they hide from the others before the forecasted hurricane strikes? Did we mention the hurricane?
WHY YOU NEED TO WATCH: Well, first of all it’s a Wes Anderson film, which by default makes it a must see, but more so, this is a very unusual ‘kids in film’ movie as it speaks more to adults than children, the little one’s adventures a reflection of real grown up issues that are played out as metaphors. It’s very clever stuff. In fact, one scene so perfectly captures this, it is truly one of the best moments ever put to film, and is discussed at length here. It’s really a terrific moment. But either way, the whole film is so endearingly earnest and silly, it all makes for a transfixing experience that only Anderson could deliver. It’s streaming on Netflix right now.