Sunday, June 3, 2012

928. RUSHMORE (1998)

Running Time: 93 minutes
Directed By: Wes Anderson
Written By: Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson
Main Cast: Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams, Seymour Cassel, Brian Cox
Click here to view the trailer


Arriving at the "70 watched, 30 to go" mark of this batch of 100, I decided to slip in one of the two remaining "double shots" I had planned for this batch, which focuses on Wes Anderson and his two films from THE BOOK.

Max Fischer (Schwartzman) is a fifteen-year-old student at Rushmore Academy, a prep school and is on the verge of being expelled. His predicament is that he takes part in far too many extracurricular activities (including the Stamp and Coin Club, Bombardment Society, Kung Fu Club and Calligraphy Club) and tends to neglect his studies. Max treats Rushmore Academy as his career, pretending he's an adult and treating his club meetings as the important daily appointments of his life. In his mind, he just doesn't have time to study. After a while, Max decides that he needs to start taking an interest in women and sets his sights on Ms. Cross (Williams), a widowed first grade teacher. Max tries hard to win the affections of Ms. Cross, going so far as to draw up plans for an aquarium to be built on the school grounds, when he learns that she is mildly interested in fish. Ms. Cross comes to enjoy Max's company, but doesn't show signs of romance. Max also strikes up a friendship with wealthy industrialist Herman Blume (Murray) and the two gain a mutual respect for one another. Later, when Max is expelled from Rushmore Academy, Ms. Cross and Herman do their best to try and help Max fit in at his new, public school. However, when Ms. Cross and Herman begin to strike up their own romance, Max's world comes crumbling down and his two most notable relationships become strained.

I saw "Rushmore" probably about ten years ago and remember hating it. At the time, I just didn't understand the appeal of these characters and I can remember chalking it up as "oddball characters in stupid situations". Well, here is another perfect example of giving things a second chance, because this time around I absolutely loved it. The oddball characters are what make this movie original and unique, because these people aren't acting in a particularly normal way. In fact, the entire atmosphere of the film has a different aura about it and that's why it doesn't blend into the crowd, but rather, stands out. Max Fischer is a fantastic character - one that you kind of love to hate in the beginning, but one who ultimately learns his lesson and becomes likeable. The story itself is rather commonplace: a man falls in love with a woman, who doesn't feel the same way about him and later, the woman falls in love with a different man (a friend of the first man) and a feud between the men ensues. Except in this situation, the first man is fifteen-years-old, the woman is a teacher at his school and the second man (the friend of the first) is a fifty-year-old man. It's perfectly written, perfectly executed and a lot of fun. It's not the type of film that will have you laughing out loud too much, but one that will have you chuckling a lot to yourself.

The cast do a fine job too, especially Schwartzman and Murray who both knock a couple of home-runs right down the middle. I've always loved Bill Murray and he looks as if he's right at home playing Herman Blume, a quiet, bitter, wealthy man, who dislikes his own children and who's best friend is fifteen. I can't say enough good things about Schwartzman, as he plays the role of Fisher perfectly. The soundtrack is also easy on the ear, filled with great songs, such as: "The Wind" by Cat Stevens and "Oh, Yoko" by John Lennon, to name a few.

RATING: 8.5/10  I'll go ahead and warn you now that "The Royal Tenenbaums" will probably get an even higher rating than that, as it has been a favorite of mine for many years.


June 3, 2012  6:28pm


  1. Oh good.. another tick for the book.
    By which I mean it got you to watch a film you hated, and this time you liked it. So extra points to you for forcing yourself to watch again, despite knowing you didn't like it.
    I saw this long before the book, and loved it, and have seen it several times since.

    1. Love Wes Anderson and still need to see "The Darjeeling Limited" and "Moonrise Kingdom"...someday.


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