A totally crazy, mental, but delightful film from Wes Anderson. Essentially it is a story about a boy scout who escapes from his camp (Fort Ivanhoe). He runs away with a girl and they go camping together around the island they live on, but the film is so much more than that. It's a film about escaping from the ordered routine of our lives; shown by the ordered rows of tents and the scoutmaster's insistence on everything being neat, tidy and working. Order is also demonstrated in the opening credits as the camera moves around the house at Summer's End (where Suzy lives) portraying it as a doll's house with everything in its place.
The cast is fairly stellar. The main characters Sam (the escapee scout) and Suzy (the girl he goes to meet) are played by unknowns Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward who are both great; but it’s the cast that surround them that are truly amazing. The scoutmaster is played by Edward Norton, the island policeman is Bruce Willis, and Suzy’s parents are Bill Murray and Frances McDormand. They are all wonderful, even though they don't all have that much screen time. A brief appearance by Tilda Swinton as “Social Services”, and a fantastic narration by Bob Balaban completes the main cast. I love the way that the characters are all slightly uncomfortable with each other apart from Sam and Suzy who are very mature for their age.
It's hard to describe how cool the film is. The story is fairly bizarre, but smart camera work and editing keep everything ticking along nicely, as well as helping to introduce much of the humour. Quite a wonderful film, and one I'd highly recommend.