Rushmore (1998)

A giddily unpredictable comedy that, among other things, harbors an Oscar-ready supporting performance by Bill Murray as an exhausted, self-destructive business. Wes Anderson‘s Rushmore, both the movie and the prep academy it’s named for, centers around the unforgettable Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman), a fifteen-year-old genius who can’t be bothered with schoolwork, but who instead devotes himself to a kingdom of extracurricular activity. Overly cultured and beneficently power mad, Max meets his first real challenge in the tenth grade: that of wooing the new kindergarten teacher (Olivia Williams). But there’s no describing how Rushmore does what it does; coscripted by Owen Wilson, the movie’s comedy is so subtle, organic, and eccentric that it could fly in under your radar. In fact, scene for scene, the story has the loopy, unreasonable feel of life zooming right by you. We’re never told how to judge any of the characters; however whimsical, they carry the same possibilities that real people do. (The smart kids aren’t smart all the way through; the bullies don’t stay bullies; and so on.) The performances, which are just as unsettling and original, are uniformly fine, but Murray, as the sad-sack ’Nam vet whose moneyed suburban hell makes him cannonball into his pool and float underwater for peace, is flat-out great.

Rushmore (film)
Rushmore (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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