The bureau chief and Mme. Le Chef saw Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" and I am willing to anoint it his best film. It's the summation of his filmic tendencies to date. The cinematography and the editing are very controlled, very structured. The art direction and the costumes emphasize artifice (and visual enjoyment, and humor) over realism. This is a comedy but there is real heart in it. It's set on a New England island during the first half of the 1960s. Of course this is a distillation of a vision of early 60s America, not the 1960s I remember. Anderson was born in 1969.
At the center of the film is the towering love affair of two twelve-year-olds, played by non-professional actors Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman. They're great. It's also got plenty of professional actors like Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Francis McDormand and more and they're great too. The music is wonderful also, a mixture of Hank Williams, Benjamin Britten, Alexandre Desplat and a little Françoise Hardy.
We saw this film two weeks ago and I'm already willing to watch it again. Highly recommended.