Next up in my Wes Anderson series is ‘Rushmore’, his second feature and a high school drama written with Owen Wilson
The king of Rushmore prep school is put on academic probation.
Rushmore is an improvement on Anderson’s debut ‘Bottle Rocket’ which I reviewed last week, but I still found it quite challenging to get into. The film is set at a private high school, and is centered around eccentric teenager Max Fischer (played on his debut by Jason Schwartzman, his friendship with a rich industrialist, Herman Bluth (Bill Murray) and his crush on one of his teachers (Olivia Williams). Like lots of high school movies, you can feel the protagonist standing in for his director, and you can easily imagine someone like Wes Anderson being more of a dreamer than a traditional academic. The film is very quirky, which can be a good and a bad thing, and whilst it isn’t as meandering as ‘Bottle Rocket’ was in terms of plot, it still feels like Anderson doesn’t really know where he wants to take this.
The main focus of the film’s plot is Fischer’s unlikely attempts to win his teachers heart, and the subsequent cat and mouse game that is played when he discovers Bluth is also courting her. The reason this bizarre scenario works is down to the performances of Schwartzman and Murray, who bring a sense of reality to their characters. In his debut, Schwartzman is excellent and shows many of the qualities that will go on to see him cast in many future Anderson projects amongst other things. Overall, there’s a lot to like about Rushmore, it’s got a great soundtrack and some top performances but it struggled to really get my attention. Looking forward to The Royal Tenenbaums next.
Directed By: Wes Anderson
Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Luke Wilson, Olivia Williams and Brian Cox