Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on December 2012
Wes Anderson’s lovingly crafted seventh picture is his most accessible to date. It quite remarkably retains plenty of his trademark quirkiness, with much wit and wisdom balancing the hopefulness of youth and the disillusionment of adulthood. There’s not a false note among the great cast and Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Harvey Keitel, Bob Balaban, Bruce Willis and Frances McDormand are clearly having fun. The emotionally resonant story is told, with great tact, through the eyes of Sam and Suzy (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward), a pair of 12-year-olds who don’t quite “fit in.” They conspire to run away together, he from an island boy scout camp (called Camp Ivanhoe), she from her chaotic family that lives in a lighthouse, throwing their associated adults into a frenzy of interwoven search efforts as a hurricane approaches. (Willis puts in a career best as the local top cop.) It’s neat how Anderson and co-writer Roman Coppola make the adults the immature ones. The offbeat, deadpan humor is plentiful and fairly constant if not laugh-out-loud, and the film is rich in sight gags. This is an endearing, funny and completely satisfying picture.