Wes Anderson returns to form with "Moonrise Kingdom," an enchanting paean to young love that is not among the director's best, but still a significant step back in the right direction after the disappointing "The Darjeeling Limited."
In many ways, Anderson's latest falls in line with the filmmaker's previous works in that includes a collection of idiosyncratic characters, makes use of obscure musical nuggets and utilizes deadpan dialogue.
Nearly every shot in the movie is gorgeous as Anderson frames each scene to appear almost as a painting.
In the film, which is set in 1965, Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) has snuck away from his Khaki Scouts Troop on a fictional New England island to woo Suzy (Kara Hayward).
The duo, who first meet during Suzy's performance in a school play in which she is dressed as a raven, decides to run away, leaving all of the film's adult characters in a frenzy.
We meet Suzy's parents, Walt and Laura (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand), who are having marital problems, most likely due to Laura's affair with local cop Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis).
Also thrown into the mix are Sam's scout master (Edward Norton) and a character known only as Social Services (Tilda Swinton).
If this all sounds a bit twee - well, it can be slightly. Anderson's films have long been populated by eccentrics, both to great effect ("Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums") and mediocre results ("Darjeeling Unlimited").
While "Moonrise Kingdom" is not among the filmmaker's greatest pictures, it is his most emotionally satisfying since "Tenenbaums."
The film's young leads both bring the necessary amount of comedic timing and pathos to their characters. Anderson's take on young love is sweet, while its humor at the expense of its young protagonists is funny without ever being condescending.
It's a charming reprieve from the summer's noisy blockbuster season.
"Moonrise Kingdom" is currently playing at Regal Union Square Stadium 14. It opens on June 15 at Kew Gardens Cinemas.