It has the usual Andersonisms: hip music (7 Hank Williams tunes), slow motion, unbelievably cool dialogue, wide deep focus shots with tons of detail, whip pans to get to reaction shots, dolly shots from one room to another. He didn't do the white titles this time though. The use of scissors set up from the first shot was brilliant.
Actors are well cast. Edward Norton portrays a scout leader who put scout leading even before his "regular job" as a math teacher and who has no idea where his troops were at one point. Bruce Willis could have been more pained as the rejected lover in love with a married woman but I liked his tenacity at finding the kids.
Francis McDormand is a pretty cool mom even when her daughter says directly to her face, "I hate you." I love how she got to use a bullhorn to call her kids to dinner. My mom just yelled at the top of her lungs when dinner was ready though my parents did have a cowbell nailed to the kitchen wall that they would sometimes use as well.
Jason Schwartzman gets to keep his sunglasses on the whole time making him a caricature of the cool cousin but it works. He has some of the best lines of the movie. One line has to do with something like this (paraphrasing): Marriage is a big deal. Go over there and have a conversation about the enormity of it before I do this.
Bob Balaban narrates on various parts of the island with a red cap that reminded me of Steve Zissou's (another Wes Anderson film character). I love how in some scenes he appears like a "floating head" as though the cameraman is a documentary filmmaker just trying to get the shot.
"I love you, but you don't know what you're talking about."--Sam Shakusky to Suzy Bishop