There’s a morality to beauty, and the sublimity of the young lovers’ idyll has a practical effect on other, adult lovers. One of the film’s sweetest themes is the idealism of young love and how life’s trials make it easy to lose and tough to recapture. Music, books, art, fashion, and all sorts of beautiful objects are seen here as the food of love—a feast that lovers themselves prepare, and for which they gather the ingredients on the wild side. Anderson’s style has never reached as celestially high or approached the skin as tenderly or the soul as intimately as it does here—nor has it ever reflected back onto itself with as poignant a self-consciousness, even self-revelation.
— Richard Brody, The New Yorker, on the brilliant Moonrise Kingdom