Moonrise Kingdom is set on an island, but its director Wes Anderson has always seemed like someone who insisted on a small off-shore existence. This is not uncommon in American movies, or necessarily forbidding: Josef von Sternberg lived on a glowing island where the light and its shadows fell on the face of a woman, ideally Marlene Dietrich, because Sternberg had loved her and been humiliated by her. Howard Hawks preferred to find an enclosed cockpit of intense talk and action—the airfield in Only Angels Have Wings or the court newsroom in His Girl Friday. The cattle drive in Red River seems set against epic American landscapes, with changing light and weather, but it’s really a camp that could wander on forever. Woody Allen haunts the streets and interiors of what looks like Manhattan, but he clutches his overcoat island of solipsism. In the same way, Wes Anderson has always been drawn to isolated worlds inhabited by adults who are lost children. In Moonrise Kingdom, in and off the shore of a fabled New England, there are storms coming.
more from David Thomson at TNR here.