This Film is Sentimental

Wes Anderson’s newest film, Moonrise Kingdom, is as superb as it gets. (Don’t just listen to me – my favourite from this aggregator is Anthony Lane of the New Yorker: “We may look back on Anderson’s works as we do on the boxes of Joseph Cornell — formal troves of frippery, studded with nostalgic private jokes, that lodge inexplicably in the heart. In Moonrise Kingdom, that lodging is already under way.”)

As a film, it has it all: a surly Bill Murray, a soundtrack worthy of the repeat button, and Wes Anderson’s usual dedication to cinematography and set design. This is not an exhaustive list of its charms.

But, as this is a blog about education, it’s a movie for teachers because it shows young people as they often are, but are rarely known for: intelligent, witty, vulnerable, respectful, and desperate for adulthood. In a world where so much of the standard narrative is about infantilized adolescents, and the conformity of youth so common to so many movies, it is mightily gratifying to see the opposite so beautifully rendered on screen. I think anyone who spends time with children will see the echoes of reality in this film and wonder, as I do, how Anderson knows them so well.

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