In Anderson's films, there is a sort of resignation to the underlying melancholy of the world; he is the only American director I can think of whose work reflects the Japanese concept mono no aware, which describes a wistfulness about the transience of things. -- Roger EbertWe waited with anticipation -- but also a certain amount of trepidation about what we were about to see. Many critics loved "Moonrise Kingdom," but others loathed it. Would it just be a whimsical, beautifully crafted but ultimately empty mess? A colorful jumble like "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou"? Would it be one of those movies about childhood that leave you squirming in your seat at the unbearable preciousness of it all? No, no, and no. The negative reviews probably said more about the critics than the film. It's wonderful.
I haven't enjoyed a movie as much for a long time. It's wry, enchanting, wistful and tinged with a bittersweet melancholy and a life-affirming sense of compassion toward all the characters. The story is very much a fantasy, but the sort of fantasy that nourishes the soul at a time when most film fantasies are lame pseudo-stories that deaden the spirit and just make you want to give up movies altogether. This is one of those films that makes you fall in love with movies all over again.