From Moonlighting to Moonrise Kingdom, Bruce Willis has made a career of confounding audiences. Here’s a guy who can shoot ‘em up with the best of the Arnolds and the Slys—yippee-ki-yayyyy!—and then twee it up, all sensitive and vulnerable, for Wes Anderson. The result? One of the weirdest bodies of work (in a good way) of any A-list actor in Hollywood. Michael Hainey sits down with Willis in London and finds a man who’s old enough to have some thoughts on where he’s been—and young enough to care a lot more about where he’s going.
If you ever find yourself playing kickball in a New York City park on a pleasant Sunday afternoon—this is no recommendation that you do, kickball being the quintessence of hipster self-infantilization, but if you do find yourself in such a situation—and if, in the middle innings, a strange homeless-looking man appears and asks if he can take a turn at the plate, do not, as may be your temptation, shoo him away in anger and disgust.
With the delightful Moonrise Kingdom, about two young runaways, director Wes Anderson is digging in his heels: He’s not going to change, so either you’re in or you’re out. Tom Carson knows where he stands:
Fair warning: People who get their teeth set on edge by Wes Anderson’s pop-up-book brand of storytelling won’t be converted by Moonrise Kingdom. That’s kind of the point, because it’s clear that—in the nicest way—Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums) doesn’t give a flip. By now, expecting him to abandon whimsy is like waiting for Mario Batali to rediscover steak and potatoes.