Movie Review By Blue Velvet
Teaming up again after their highly praised 1996 film "Bottle Rocket," writer Owen Wilson and writer/director Wes Anderson have released their latest film, "Rushmore." Mixing comedy and a bitter sweet plot, Anderson and Wilson have produced an offbeat, hilariously imaginative, and sensitive comedy centered around a wildly unique prep school student and his over-consuming brush with love.
Chosen from tens of thousands of teenage actors, newcomer Jason Schwartzman, the son of actress Talia Shire, won the lead role of Max Fisher. Max lives and breathes for Rushmore, his beloved elite prep school. Manic, borderline obnoxious, and a tad geeky, Max is the president of no less than ten school clubs and as a hugely talented director, Max's school play productions hold legendary status. Yet as a student, Max barely upholds passing grades and this among other things puts him at odds with the school's top administrators. Max falls outrageously in love with a young British first grade teacher named Rosemary, played by Olivia Williams. However Rosemary simultaneously becomes a target of obsessive love by Max's older friend, steel tycoon Herman Blume played by Bill Murray. This sets off a war between Herman and Max and outlandish mayhem ensues.
Although its silliness and cleverness keep "Rushmore" funny and upbeat, the film examines hard-felt insecurities within a snobbish micro-community like Rushmore. Director Anderson sets an adventurous pace to match the changing moods of the screenplay. Weaving a tale of love, revenge, struggle, and joy, "Rushmore" extends past one dimensional gratuitous comedies.
Nominated for a 1999 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor, Bill Murray creates a curious mixture in his portrayal of a bizarre rebel tycoon. Murray exudes his amazing natural talent for comedy and exceptionally shines in his subtle role. Also well cast is Jason Schwartzman who infuses crackling energy into his evolutionary performance as a way-out dreamer. The soundtrack too deserves attention, capturing a collection of powerful and tender 60's songs which rarely surface in mainstream radio. With variety and personality, "Rushmore" is a comedy standout.
© 1999 - Blue Velvet - Air Date: 02/03/99
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