are camping on the island. Ultra-precocious Sam is so mired inDickensian misfortune,
his own foster family won’t take him
back.On the other end of the island, Suzie (Kara Hayward) is the oldest daughter in an unhappy family parented by chronic misery asrepresented by Wes Anderson stock member Bill Murray
inanother burn-out role--and Frances McDormand, a mom whoneeds the assistance of a bullhorn to communicate with her issue.Together, young Sam and Suzie weave and execute a plot toelope from their miserable lives. Adult-brilliant as they both are,their need and passion blind them to the fact that they are on an
island that’s only about 16 miles long and a few wide, as elfin
narrator and chorus Bob Balaban assures us.
It won’t take long for unhappy
, clueless, harrumphing grownups(including Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, and Tilda Swinton, who isswirled in like frosting as a blue-caped Evil Social Worker Witch)and
Sam’s hateful, knife
-wielding fellow scouts to track these pubescent lovers down like dogs and cruelly separate them for good.
But maybe it doesn’t matter that they’re on an island. What these
two young lovers are really running away from is adulthood, arealm with little to offer either of them. As always happens inthese movies, the grownups are so dumbed-down and worn out
by life, they’ve lost the capacity to
even recognize joy in others,
long after it’s died in them
has more whimsy per frame than director
Anderson’s other movies. It’
s a magic box movie that oftencharms without really being involving. The film opens in themanner of an old-time slideshow on a carousel, with sets so pastel, rounded, and immaculate they appear Pixar-generated
— there’s not a sharp corner
or splinter anywhere.