Recently I got a chance to see two of the films I was most looking forward to this year, both coming from directors I’ve long admired, Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ and David Cronenberg’s ‘Cosmopolis’, and I’m afraid to say that both left me quite disappointed.
‘Moonrise Kingdom’ is not a particularly bad film, but it left me wanting a great deal more. My high levels of anticipation for the film will certainly have been fuelled by all the great reviews it’s been receiving all year, with many critics calling it his best yet. Frankly, I found it to be his weakest. Sure, all the uniquely Wes Anderson style is present and correct, but the story is a rather simple one. Two kids, one escaping from a Boy Scout camp, the other from her family, decide to run away together on a New England island in the 1960s. As usual Anderson assembles an impressive cast, with newcomers Bruce Willis and Edward Norton joining regulars like Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman. But these are really all supporting roles; it’s the children that take centre stage. Neither is irritating but they’re also both not amusing and engaging enough as leads. It’s thankfully not a movie squarely aimed at kids though, and is unafraid to touch on more mature themes. I couldn’t help but be under whelmed by it in the end. Maybe second time round I’ll like it more, as was the case with ‘The Life Aquatic’.
David Cronenberg was away from our screens for an unusually long time following the excellent ‘Eastern Promises’ in 2007 but when he returned what feels like less than a year ago it was with the unremarkable ‘A Dangerous Method’. Appearing very soon after, ‘Cosmopolis’ looked like it would be the big return but is unfortunately not. I wasn’t sure actually if there was a sci-fi element to this at all before watching, there isn’t, it’s a drama about a very wealthy young man travelling across New York in a limo in order to get a haircut. Sure he has a few encounters along the way but whole thing didn’t seem to really be going anywhere in particular. Again, I hope I just missed something, and a second viewing proves more rewarding.
Moonrise Kingdom 3.5/5