The release of the “Moonrise Kingdom” trailer has made Wes Anderson king of all entertainment blogs today, and set aflutter the hearts of fans and film critics alike. Anderson is one of a handful of directors for whom we consider the release of a new trailer to be a capital-E Event, eagerly anticipated and just as eagerly dissected.
The fawning has already begun. A Guardian headline asks, “Is Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ trailer a dream come true?” Jason Kottke declared, “It’s Wes Andersonmas, y’all!” “We have taken one step closer to the Platonic ideal of a Wes Anderson Movie,” Slate’s David Haglund wrote. “INcredible” gushed Perez Hilton, in his characteristic restraint.
Detractors say that Wes Anderson’s films are all style over substance, known more for their Wes Anderson-ness than anything else. They all tick off certain boxes — pastel color schemes, slow-motion walking scenes, a male lead actor on a quest, the presence of Bill Murray. Other especially Wes Andersony elements cited: “fab hats,” “pint-sized precocity,” “relentlessly symmetrical,” “consummately quirky” and “twee” — all of which can be taken as compliments, or complaints.
Still, Anderson fans don’t care of the same elements that they love in his films are reason for criticism for others — chalk it up to the auteur theory. Washington City Paper writer Joe Warminsky summarizes “Moonrise Kingdom” thusly:
Y'know how Prince occasionally veers toward self-parody, and nobody is sure if it's intentional, so the default response is, "It's still [expletive] Prince, so shut up," and then everybody goes back to enjoying Prince?