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Master of his ‘Kingdom’

Wes Anderson is at the top of his game with this tale about young love

Anyone who thinks Wes Anderson should take a new approach to filmmaking doesn't really want to see a Wes Anderson movie. That's like saying Steven Spielberg should take a crack at directing an episode of "Jersey Shore," just to keep it interesting. For Mr. Anderson to do anything besides what he does would be a massive waste. He's for a particular taste, but the distinct identity that dominates his films is what makes him a cut above so many of his contemporaries.

So yes, you can expect many familiar hallmarks of a Wes Anderson movie here -- meticulously designed sets, deadpan wit and unloved children rebelling against the ambivalence of their self-involved parents. Here, two young loners -- Sam, an orphan ostracized from his boy scout group and Suzy, a problem child within a broken family -- fall in love and decide to run away into the wilderness together.

The trouble with Anderson's previous films like "The Darjeeling Limited" and "The Life Aquatic" may've come from the fact that those stories had veered off in strange tangents that upset the overall tone of the film. "Moonrise Kingdom," by contrast, remains a consistent, coherent work of art that never betrays the sweetness at its center.

Sleepy sounds

If there's something that breaks from the Wes Anderson norm, it's a score completely devoid of 1960s Brit pop, despite the fact that the film is set in 1965. The music of French chanteuse Franciose Hardy and compositions by Benjamin Britten dominate the soundtrack.

 
 
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