THE GIST: Two love-struck, troubled pre-teens, Sam and Suzy (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) run away together into the wilds of a tiny island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965. Various and sundry oddball characters race to find them as a wicked storm looms.
THE CHARACTER: Definitely young Suzy Bishop, the 12-year old runaway. She is odd, hostile, and yet fragile in a perfectly Wes way. (Runner up: Bob Balaban as The Narrator.)
THE MUSIC: The soundtrack for Moonrise Kingdom is primarily orchestral and choral music specifically targeted towards children, composed by Benjamin Britten. Wes has said that the music was very important to setting the tone for the movie, saying at the Cannes premier that “It is the colour of the movie.” A particularly standout musical moment is the performance of “Noye’s Fludde”, where Sam and Suzy first meet.
WHERE IT REALLY GOES WES: Sam and Suzy and the rest of Sam’s Khaki Scout troupe flee the main island to a neighbouring island where a larger camp, Fort Lebanon, and one of the boy’s cousin, Cousin Ben, agrees to help them escape on a crabbing boat, but not before he agrees to join Sam and Suzy in holy but “not legally binding” matrimony.
Jiminy Cricket, he flew the coop!
– Scout Master Ward, upon discovering that Sam had run away from camp