Monday, 4 April 2011

Rushmore (1998) - Wes Anderson

A fairly bizarre little film this one.  Jason Schwartzman (in his first film) plays Max Fischer, a precocious and outlandish teenager at Rushmore High School.  He's flunking his academics but excels at every extra-curricular activity going.  Soon after his headteacher gives him an ultimatum to improve his schoolwork, he falls in love with the elementary school teacher Rosemary Cross (Olivia Williams) and strikes up a friendship with Herman Blume (Bill Murray), a local businessman.  A peculiar love triangle develops between them and provides the impetus for the narrative.

It's a comedy-drama with subtlety and understated performances, despite the oddball setpieces.  Whilst the comedy isn't laugh-out-loud and the drama merely hints at darker elements, it's still an entertaining film.  The music especially provides humour, as well as providing a jarring retro tone which mimics Max's overly mature attitude to life. 

Rushmore is a film worth seeing, even if it's just to witness the beginnings of Schwartzman, Anderson and (co-writer) Owen Wilson's careers.  That in addition to a droll performance from Murray that continues with Lost In Translation.