Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Wes Anderson|
|Produced by||Jeremy Dawson
Steven M. Rales
|Written by||Wes Anderson
|Narrated by||Bob Balaban|
|Music by||Alexandre Desplat|
|Editing by||Andrew Weisblum|
|Studio||American Empirical Pictures
Scott Rudin Productions
|Distributed by||Focus Features|
|Running time||94 minutes|
The film received critical acclaim and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. It was also nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy.
In 1965, on an idyllic New England island called New Penzance, 12-year-old orphan Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) is attending a "Khaki Scout" summer camp, Camp Ivanhoe, led by Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton). Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) lives on the island with her attorney parents—Walt (Bill Murray) and Laura (Frances McDormand)—and three younger brothers in a house called Summer's End. Sam and Suzy, both introverted, intelligent and mature for their age, met the previous summer during a church performance of Noye's Fludde and have been pen pals since then. Having fallen in love over the course of their correspondence, they have made a secret pact to reunite and run away together. Sam brings camping equipment, and Suzy brings six books, her cat, and a record player. They spend several days hiking and camping together in the wilderness with the goal of reaching a secluded cove on the island, which they name Moonrise Kingdom. After setting up camp there, they go swimming, and converse about their various interests. Later, while dancing to Françoise Hardy in their underwear, they share a kiss. Suzy's parents, the police, and the scoutmaster eventually find them at the cove.
Suzy's parents take her home and forbid her from seeing Sam again. Sam stays with Police Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) while they await Social Services (Tilda Swinton), who will place Sam in a "juvenile refuge" because his foster parents no longer wish to house him. The scouts, who previously were not kind to Sam, decide it is their duty to help the young lovers run away again. Suzy, Sam, and the other scouts seek out the help of Cousin Ben (Jason Schwartzman), an older relative of one of the scouts who works at the larger Khaki Scout summer camp, Fort Lebanon, run by Commander Pierce (Harvey Keitel). After many twists and turns, Sam and Suzy are apprehended on a church steeple during a violent hurricane and flash flood. The steeple is destroyed by lightning, but everyone survives.
Sharp decides to become Sam's legal guardian, saving him from the orphanage and allowing him to remain on the island and maintain contact with Suzy. At Summer's End, Sam paints a landscape of the cove and then slips out the window as Suzy and her brothers are called to dinner.
- Jared Gilman as Sam Shakusky
- Kara Hayward as Suzy Bishop
- Bruce Willis as Captain Duffy Sharp
- Edward Norton as Scout Master Randy Ward
- Bill Murray as Walt Bishop
- Frances McDormand as Laura Bishop
- Tilda Swinton as Social Services
- Jason Schwartzman as Cousin Ben
- Harvey Keitel as Commander Pierce
- Bob Balaban as Narrator
- Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick as Roosevelt
The film was shot at various places around Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island including Conanicut Island (Jamestown), Prudence Island, Fort Wetherill, Yawgoog Scout Reservation, Trinity Church, Conanicut Island Light, Ocean House, Lincoln Woods State Park, Arcadia State Park, the Newport State Airport, Long Pond Woods, and Newport's Ballard Park.
Google Earth was used for initial location scouting, according to director Anderson,
We had to figure out where we were shooting this movie—in Canada or Michigan or New England ... ? We started out with "Where is this girl [Suzy’s] house, and where is the naked wildlife we want?" So [after Googling], we traveled around a bit, to Cumberland Island in Georgia, to the Thousand Islands on the New York/Ontario border ... we checked out all these locations.
A house in the Thousand Islands region in New York was used as the model for the interior of Suzy’s house on the set built for the movie. Conanicut Island Light, a decommissioned Rhode Island lighthouse, was used for the exterior.
Fictitious books and maps 
In the film, 12-year-old Suzy packs six (fictitious) storybooks she stole from the public library. Six artists were commissioned to create the jacket covers for the books, and Wes Anderson wrote passages for each of the books. Suzy is shown reading aloud from three of the books during the film. Anderson had considered incorporating animation for the reading scenes, but chose to show her reading with the other actors listening spellbound. In April 2012, Anderson decided to animate all six books and use them in a promotional video in which Bob Balaban, who plays the film’s narrator, introduces the segment for each of these imaginary books.
On designing the maps for the fictitious New Penzance Island, director Anderson said, "It’s weird because you’d think that you could make a fake island and map it, and it would be a simple enough matter, but to make it feel like a real thing, it just always takes a lot of attention." Anderson further stated that the movie
has maps, and it has books, and it has watercolor paintings and needle-points, and a lot of different things that we had to make. And all these things just take forever, but I feel like even if they don’t get that much time [on screen], you kind of feel whether or not they’ve got the layers of the real thing in them.
Anderson features music by Benjamin Britten, a composer notable for his many works for children's voices. At the Cannes Film Festival, during the post-screening press conference, Wes Anderson said that Britten's music
had a huge effect on the whole movie, I think. The movie's sort of set to it. The play of Noye's Fludde that is performed in it—my older brother and I were actually in a production of that when I was ten or eleven, and that music is something I've always remembered, and made a very strong impression on me. It is the colour of the movie in a way.
With many Britten tracks taken from recordings conducted or supervised by the composer himself, the music includes The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (Introduction/Theme; Fugue), conducted by Leonard Bernstein; Friday Afternoons ('Cuckoo'; 'Old Abram Brown'); Simple Symphony ("Playful Pizzicato"); Noye's Fludde (various excerpts, including the processions of animals into and out of the ark, and "The spacious firmament on high"); and A Midsummer Night's Dream ("On the ground, sleep sound").
The film premiered on May 16, 2012, as the opening film at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where it screened in competition. It was released in French theatres the same day. The American limited release occurred on May 25, and set a record for the best per-theater-average for a non-animated movie by grossing an average of $130,752 in four theaters.
Home media 
Moonrise Kingdom was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United Kingdom on October 1, 2012. In the United States, Moonrise Kingdom was released on October 16, 2012 in two formats: a one-disc DVD, and a two-disc Blu-ray + DVD combo pack with a digital copy.
Critical response 
Moonrise Kingdom received widespread critical acclaim. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 94% based on reviews from 214 critics, with an average score of 8.2/10. Review aggregation website Metacritic gives the film a weighted average score of 84%, based on 43 reviews, indicating "Universal acclaim".
Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gives the film 4 stars out of 5, calling it "another sprightly confection of oddities, attractively eccentric, witty and strangely clothed." Christopher Orr of The Atlantic wrote that Moonrise Kingdom "captures the texture of childhood summers, the sense of having a limited amount of time in which to do unlimited things" and is "Anderson's best live-action feature" because "it takes as its primary subject matter odd, precocious children, rather than the damaged and dissatisfied adults they will one day become." Kristen M. Jones of Film Comment wrote that the film "has a spontaneity and yearning that lend an easy comic rhythm," but it also has a "rapt quality, as if we are viewing the events through Suzy's binoculars or reading the story under the covers by a flashlight."
|This section requires expansion. (January 2013)|
Best of lists 
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipients and nominees||Result|
|Academy Awards||February 24, 2013||Best Writing (Original Screenplay)||Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola||Nominated|
|American Cinema Editors||February 16, 2013||Best Edited Feature Film - Comedy or Musical||Andrew Weisblum||Nominated|
|American Film Institute||December 2012||AFI Award for Movie of the Year||Jeremy Dawson, Scott Rubin, Steven M. Rales, Wes Anderson||Won|
|AFI Film Award||Moonrise Kingdom||Won|
|Austin Film Critics Association||December 18, 2012||Best Film||Nominated|
|Bodil Awards||March 16, 2013||Best American Film||Moonrise Kingdom||Nominated|
|British Academy of Film and Television Arts||February 10, 2013||Original Screenplay||Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola||Nominated|
|Broadcast Film Critics Association||January 10, 2013||Best Film||Moonrise Kingdom||Nominated|
|Best Young Performer||Kara Hayward||Nominated|
|Best Cast||Moonrise Kingdom cast||Nominated|
|Best Original Screenplay||Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola||Nominated|
|Best Composer||Alexandre Desplat||Nominated|
|Cannes Film Festival||May 27, 2012||Palme d'Or||Wes Anderson||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Awards||January 13, 2013||Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy||Moonrise Kingdom||Nominated|
|Gotham Awards||November 26, 2012||Best Ensemble Performance||Moonrise Kingdom cast||Nominated|
|Best Feature||Moonrise Kingdom||Won|
|Guldbagge Awards||January 21, 2013||Best Foreign Film||Moonrise Kingdom||Nominated|
|Independent Spirit Awards||February 23, 2013||Best Cinematography||Robert Yeoman||Nominated|
|Best Director||Wes Anderson||Nominated|
|Best Feature||Moonrise Kingdom||Nominated|
|Best Screenplay||Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Male||Bruce Willis||Nominated|
|Producers Guild of America||January 26, 2013||Best Picture||Scott Rudin & Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, Steven M. Rales||Nominated|
|Writers Guild of America||February 17, 2013||Best Original Screenplay||Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola||Nominated|
|San Diego Film Critics Society||December 11, 2012||Best Original Screenplay||Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola||Nominated|
|Best Production Design||Adam Stockhausen||Nominated|
|Best Score||Alexandre Desplat||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||December 16, 2012||Best Original Screenplay||Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola||Nominated|
|Best Picture||Moonrise Kingdom||Nominated|
|World Soundtrack Awards||October 20, 2012||Soundtrack Composer of the Year||Alexandre Desplat||Nominated|
|Young Artist Awards||May 5, 2013||Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor||Jared Gilman||Nominated|
|Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress||Kara Hayward||Nominated|
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- "Moonrise Kingdom: What's the Britten music used in Wes Anderson's new movie?". Britten Pears Foundation. 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
- Evan Minske (2012-05-02). "Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom Soundtrack: Check Out the Tracklist and a Piece of the Score". Retrieved 2012-07-28.
- "Festival de Cannes - From 16 to 27 may 2012". Festival-cannes.fr. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
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- Lodge, Guy (2012-12-02). "The Master named 2012s best in Sight & Sound critics poll". Hitfix.com. Retrieved 2013-05-19.
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- American Film Institute. "Afi Awards". Afi.com. Retrieved 2013-05-19.
- "2012 Awards - Austin Film Critics Association". Austinfilmcritics.org. 2012-12-18. Retrieved 2013-05-19.
- "Velkommen til". Bodilprisen.dk. Retrieved 2013-05-19.
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- Official website
- Moonrise Kingdom at the Internet Movie Database
- Moonrise Kingdom at AllRovi
- Moonrise Kingdom at Rotten Tomatoes
- Moonrise Kingdom at Metacritic
- Moonrise Kingdom at Box Office Mojo