Don’s review published on Letterboxd :
I adore the medium of film. The fact that anything can happen, in any place, any time period, excites me in a way nothing else can. Of course, there's the stinkers of the movie world, but for every unfortunate event playing out on screen, there's two or three prodigious ones. However, the film world may be dandy and fresh, but there's one thing that has always got on my nerves.
Whenever a child star portrays a lead character in a film, they almost never receive top billing. It's always some A-List actor who will rake in the cash that gets his name at the very top. It's true with Moonrise Kingdom. In fact, the two leads aren't even on the theatrical poster, though their faces are. Bloody Bruce Willis' name is.
It just feels like child stars don't get the recognition they deserve. They're gonna go off the rails eventually; give them some love! I get that A-Listers are gonna bring in ticket sales, not unknown, prepubescent sweethearts, but it has always annoyed me. The only child star I know of that has ever received top billing is sickly sweet Shirley Temple, though the only reason she was top billed was because she WAS an A-Lister. Okay, got that off my chest.
Now, actually back to the film in question, Wes Anderson's seventh directorial feature outing Moonrise Kingdom. Despite my rant, it's a fantastic, idiosyncratic , hilarious film. The child stars aforementioned, Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman, play their star-crossed lover roles to perfection, their eccentric and troubled love outperforming even Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton. Hayward's psychotic twelve-year old well deserving of an ASBO and Gilman's not-as-psychotic but equally as troubled orphan's love makes for enchanting viewing. I prefer them to Romeo and Juliet, those snobs! Plus, it ends much happier.
Overall, it's an adorable, amazingly acted piece of 60's period drama, all the while having a few of Wes Anderson's trademark quirks. Most definitely one of the best films I've seen all year; I ate up the precocious pair's love!