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This is yet another incarnation of my personal blog. Here's where you can read about what I do when I'm not at work: hiking, seeing plays and other shows, eating, traveling, etc.

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Movie Reviews: Moonrise Kingdom, The Intouchables

Posted by gck Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Started this blog post a few months back, but I never got around to finishing it. After SIFF 2012 ended, I maintained my excitement about the movies for awhile! I caught a Studio Ghibli film as part of the volunteer appreciation party (the other option was Eden, which I didn’t want to rewatch so soon), then did a SIFF-style back to back watching of two festival favorites at Pacific Place. Since then, I’ve been seeing movies in spurts here and there, particularly things that I missed at the festival and have gotten wider releases since then.

Moonrise Kingdom
USA, 2012
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Coming-of-Age
Watched: in theater, Pacific Place
Rating: ****1/2 (out of 5)

Wes Anderson! Wes Anderson! Everybody loves Wes Anderson! Well, everyone except me, I guess. I didn’t even recognize the name, and when I looked at the other movies he’d made, I hadn’t seen most of them and I disliked the ones I had seen. However, I really enjoyed Moonrise Kingdom. It was so charming, with great child actors and lovely 60’s setting and coloring. So much to enjoy here… Edward Norton as a scout master, Tilda Swinton as “Social Services,” the whole New England setting, etc. It’s not a film that blows you away, but you’ll quietly fall in love.

The Intouchables
France, 2011
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Watched: in theater, Pacific Place
Rating: **** (out of 5)

Second highest grossing movie of all time in France. Highly praised at SIFF. The description didn’t sound all that appealing, but the trailer makes it clear how funny and heartwarming this film is. I didn’t realize until the end that it was based on a true story, though it did seem like there were probably a lot of artistic liberties taken with it. Overall, I enjoyed it and laughed, but I didn’t get the strong emotional connection that I’d need to give this a higher rating.


Beasts of the Southern Wild
USA, 2012
Genre: Drama, Coming-of-Age
Watched: in theater, SIFF Uptown
Rating: *** (out of 5)

Two huge sold out screenings at SIFF, highly hyped all over the festival circuit. It sounded like my thing – coming-of-age, set in Louisiana, fantasy elements. But from the trailer, I couldn’t understand why everyone was calling it the best movie of the year. The representative image everyone else uses is Hushpuppy running with sparklers, but I feel like that presents an inaccurate summary of the film. The image I’m using speaks to me more. Strong, determined characters living in a dirty and different world. There were things I liked about it. Quvenzhan√© Wallis as Hushpuppy is a great child actress. My strong reaction to the conditions the residents of the Bathtub live in reminds me that I do live a sheltered life. But overall, the movie isn’t enjoyable. Every adult in the community is an alcoholic, and Hushpuppy’s father is a violent one. It’s tough to see the kids in such deplorable conditions, even though they seem to enjoy their lives. The fantastical aurochs make for interesting images, but I didn’t relate to them as symbols. Finally, the shaky camera is pretty extreme. It gave me slight motion sickness, and my friend who is more prone to motion sickness felt like throwing up.


Old Goats
USA, 2010
Genre: Comedy
Watched: in theater, SIFF Uptown
Rating: **** (out of 5)

Each film festival, there are always a few sleeper films that don’t have a lot of reviews going into the festival, and by the time I hear the hype, the screenings are already over or I can’t fit them into my schedule. Then they disappear into obscurity because they were such small productions that they don’t get distribution. And it makes me sad. Old Goats was one of these from SIFF 2011. I was even more disappointed because they screened it for Best Of, but I wasn’t in town that weekend. A tiny, tiny production written and directed by Taylor Guterson (the son of writer David Guterson) with a budget of $5000 (!!!), this film didn’t even have a Netflix entry, much less a release date, so I was resigned to the idea that I would never get to see it. Imagine my excitement when it showed up on the SIFF Cinema fall program! Well, I finally got to see it, and I’m glad I did. Funny characters with strong personalities showing that retirement doesn’t mean that life heads downhill.

1 Responses to Movie Reviews: Moonrise Kingdom, The Intouchables

  1. I was so not excited about moonrise kingdom at all when I read about it but I cannot agree more with your views. It is charming in every way. It is funny as well as feeding the soul a bit and leaving you with a warm heart and maybe a tear in the corner of your eye.


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