Quirky adventure charms

The Vernon Film Society show Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom at the Vernon Towne Cinema Monday, Sept. 24.

Suzy and Sam (Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman) scout out their fabled Moonrise Kingdom in the film of the same name by director Wes Anderson.

Suzy and Sam (Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman) scout out their fabled Moonrise Kingdom in the film of the same name by director Wes Anderson.

The opening night selection at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Moonrise Kingdom has been a great success wherever it has been shown.

See for yourself when the Vernon Film Society shows the feature at the Vernon Towne Cinema Monday.

Directed by Wes Anderson (Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox), it features his unique brand of quirky humour, an iconic soundtrack, and his distinct, visual style.

The story takes place on the fictional New England island of New Penzance in 1965 and follows two love struck 12-year-olds, Sam and Suzy, who are both dealing with difficult situations in their lives.

Suzy has two older parents (Frances McDormand and Bill Murray), who are drifting apart, and Sam is an orphan and also an outcast in his Khaki Scout troop.

They have been pen pals for a year and have decided to run away together. Sam has come prepared with maps for their trek and Suzy brings her record player and spare batteries. They follow an old trail to a secluded cove, which they name Moonrise Kingdom.

Here they sit by side and look out over the water, where they regard the passage of innocence and the disturbing possibility of maturity.

Their escape triggers a humorously hapless search party compromised of Suzy’s parents, the chief of police (Bruce Willis), and the Khaki Scouts, led by the troop leader (Edward Norton).

Heightening the dramatic absurdity of the situation is a violent storm on course for New Penzance, accompanied by the exuberant march of Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde.

Tilda Swinton plays “Social Services” in a somewhat robotic manner. She’s involved because Sam is an orphan.

Some critics have drawn parallels to Moonrise Kingdom with Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and there is definitely a magical feel to much of the movie.

At one point in their idyll, Sam asks Suzy what she wants to be when she grows up. She answers: “go on adventures.”

For those of us who still look for that in our lives, this film will delight.

Moonrise Kingdom screens at the Vernon Towne Cinema Monday at 5:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Tickets are $7, available at the door and one week prior at the theatre and the Bean Scene.