Details: (MA15+), 89 mins, United States, English
Synopsis: The story of a gifted, rebellious teenager named Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman), a 10th grader at elite Rushmore Academy. Editor of the school newspaper, captain or president of innumerable clubs and societies, Max is also one of the worst students in the school and the threat of expulsion hangs permanently over his head. Max's world is rocked when he falls for elegant 1st grade teacher Miss Cross (Olivia Williams), and he plans to erect an aquarium in her honor – then finds himself competing for her affections with his friend, steel tycoon Mr. Blume (Bill Murray), the wealthy father of two of his classmates.
A true original.
Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) is a prime mover and groover at the elite Rushmore Academy – leader of the pack of the French Club, the German and Chess Clubs, the fencing, karate and debate teams as well as being editor of the school magazine and writer and director of the school plays. He looks like a nerd with his glasses, blazer and tie but he acts like a future politician. Unfortunately his grades are so bad – small wonder – that he's in danger of being expelled. Well, that's the end of that plot point, enter Ms. Cross, the first grade teacher (Olivia Williams) for whom Max falls for heavily and Mr. Blume (Bill Murray) a rich alumni who's got major ennui with his own life and takes a liking to Max. Unfortunately he also takes a liking to Ms. Cross.
This is such a strange film from writer/director Wes Anderson and his co-writer and college friend Owen Wilson. There's a little bit of The Graduate in there, but not enough to make me like Max – as played by Jason Schwartsmann, another nephew of Frances Coppola's, son of sister Talia. There's a little bit of the nerd revenge thing, but then Max was never really a nerd, he's one of the future rulers of the world – and there's a worry. What's good in the film is the character of Blume and Bill Murray's flat battery performance is the best thing in it. The film is basically a three act comedy-stroke-coming of age story but unfortunately the three acts are from three different films, and I didn't laugh once.
Rushmore is a refreshingly different school film, and Max Fischer, as superbly played by Jason Schwartzmann, a refreshingly different protagonist. The highly eccentric hero is a very original character, one whose talents are not for scholastic matters, but for the finer things in life. Old beyond his years, he's able to befriend jaded businessman Bill Murray and, in a very odd way, to romance widowed teacher Miss Cross, (Olivia Williams). The great thing about the film (with its remarkably precise widescreen photography) is that you never know where it's heading. It's a true original, overflowing with amusing and interesting characters – the Scottish schoolboy, the Chinese girlfriend etc, and situations.
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