When I see superior filmmaking like Moonrise Kingdom, I can’t help but wonder what it is that Anderson’s imitators lack. The first and most obvious fact is they simply aren’t up to his visual or stylistic caliber. More deeply, what hipster filmmakers really don’t get is that while their characters flounder in self-absorption Anderson’s are defined by grace and empathy—he to his characters and they to each other. Maybe not initially or even mostly, but eventually. They cautiously reveal their feelings and fears rather than wallowing in them. Wes Anderson romanticizes melancholy, not by empathizing with narcissism but rather in discovering the cathartic potential of risking vulnerability.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol Content: Adults are occasionally seen smoking a cigarette. A boy sips a beer.
  • Language/Profanity: One H-word, three D-words, a masculine B-word, two uses of SOB, and four variations of the Lord’s name taken in vain.
  • Sexual Content/Nudity: The young teenage boy and girl are together while in their underwear. The boy touches her bra-covered chest. They kiss. When they hug, she mentions that she feels his erection. They lay in the same sleeping bag together, but clothed. They do not have sex. A group of boys briefly theorize about what Sam and Suzy may have done while alone in the woods. Two adults are in an adulterous affair, but it’s a narrative and thematic element only as we only see them briefly kiss once.
  • Violence: Kids bully another kid on a couple of occasions, first verbally then physically. A boy shoots at another with a BB gun. A boy is stabbed in the side with scissors (the act is not seen, just the bloody result). A boy pierces a girl’s ear with a fishhook.