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While Anderson’s films have often revolved around a clash of innocence with a cynical world, “Moonrise Kingdom” is his most stark dichotomy of adults and children. In the film, the grown-ups react variously to the children’s gambit, with a chance for redemption for Willis‘ police officer.

“His adults are always kind of wrangling disappointment,” said Swinton, who plays a bureaucrat simply called “Social Services,” in a news conference at Cannes. “And this film, I think maybe more than any other film, the adults are the disappointed ones and the children, they’ve got the grail.”

Schwartzman, a frequent collaborator with Anderson since “Rushmore” who considers the director his mentor, thinks his films are getting slightly deconstructed.

“I feel like Wes in each movie is examining, in a more intense way, an aspect of something that’s in his own body and world,” says Schwartzman. “And I think in other movies he’s examined or played around with the idea of young feelings of love and feeling stuck or confused.”

The wisdom of one of Anderson’s characters comes to mind: Gene Hackman’s rascal Royal Tenenbaum, who implored, with a glint in his eye: “I’m talking about taking it out and chopping it up.”