RUSHMORE (1997)

Neu im Kino: Tragikomödie "Rushmore" mit Jason Schwartzman

Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams, Brian Cox, Seymour Cassel, Mason Gamble, Sara Tanaka, Luke Wilson

Directed by: Wes Anderson

Synopsis: The king of Rushmore prep school is put on academic probation.

Wes Anderson’s first bona fide classic, following his low-key debut Bottle Rocket was 1997’s Rushmore. It featured an unknown lead actor, Jason Schwartzman and, in Bill Murray, a comedy great who was beginning a new chapter in his career.

The film centres on student Max Fisher, a prodigious talent at everything apart from school. He belongs to almost every society you can think of, yet his grades are terrible. He meets new teacher Miss Cross (Olivia Williams) and, despite being half her age, immediately falls for her. The trouble is, his new friend Herman Blume (Murray) also takes a shine to her. The fates of all three go awry, leading to some pretty funny moments throughout.

The first thing that struck me after watching Rushmore for the first time in a long time, was that it wasn’t quite plastered with full on Wes Anderson traits we have seen in his last few movies. Sure, this is where his style started to manifest itself, but it was still restrained in parts. Again, this would no doubt be down to budget constraints. It’s certainly all the better for it though. The film has everything. Humour, emotion, a great soundtrack and some perfect acting.

Schwartzman is absolutely brilliant as Max, stealing the show from his illustrious co-stars (although he is run pretty close by Bill Murray). To think he was unknown before this! Sometimes he is a despicable character, but then in the scenes with his father at his barber shop, he carries some real emotion around him. In fact, for anyone who says Anderson’s films contain no emotion, I would point to the scene where Max introduces his Dad to Herman. After telling Herman that his dad is a brain surgeon, he introduces them at his humble barber shop and it’s a lovely moment of a son accepting his father.

There are some classic moments and scenes here. The medley of revenge attacks between Max and Herman, to the sound of The Who’s “A Quick One” is inspired, as is the final dance at the end to the strains of The Faces “Ooh La La” with it’s “I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger” lyric proving extremely fitting. It gives me goosebumps every time I watch it.

It’s not my favourite Wes Anderson film, The Royal Tenenbaums win’s by default because I saw it first, but Rushmore sure is an absolute modern classic, and a one of a kind.

4.5 clappers

About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.

16 comments

  1. Whatta classic. One of Anderson’s best. Good review.

  2. Good review, Tom! Thank you. 🙂

  3. Great review. Even though I saw Rushmore when it was in theaters (my first exposure to Wes Anderson) I also rank The Royal Tenenbaums slightly higher…and I consider both of them modern classics.

  4. Rushmore is my favourite Anderson film. I’m glad you like it so much!

  5. Excellent review, Tom! I have to agree though Royal Tenenbaums is my favorite as well.

  6. Big fan of this film, although haven’t seen it for a while. Definitely time for a re-watch!

  7. So happy to see this reviewed, especially as you really get what makes the film great. It is still my favourite of his.

    • Thanks Alex! It’s a classic isn’t it, although like I said, the Royal Tenenbaums wins by default for me!

      • I’ve not seen a film set in a school anything like it but I can’t argue with your choice. The Royal Tenanbaums is just so different and has my fave performance from Gwyneth Paltrow when I wouldn’t really class myself as a fan.

  8. Not only a great film, but the first of several Wes Anderson movies where the soundtrack CD is worthy of purchasing. Besides usually having Mark Motherbaugh’s great incidental music, you usually get a beguiling mix of rock tunes and classical or world music. The Royal Tenenbaum’s soundtrack is maybe the best (Nico, Clash, Ramones, Dylan, Nick Drake, Velvets, John Lennon and Charlie Brown music!) and the Darjeeling Limited CD is first-rate as well. Anderson seems to put a lot of thought into integrating the music, unlike a lot of filmmakers who seem to throw on old rock tunes at random.

    • I think that is one of the first things that got me into Anderson movies, the soundtracks. Basically all the artists I love feature heavily, and they are always flawlessly selected.

  9. I have a confession. I love Anderson yet have not watched Bottle Rocket, The Royal Tenanbaums or Rushmore yet. Your review is making me want to hurry up and get on it so I certainly should at some point or another. It honestly looks brilliant!

  10. To answer your question from the other day, THIS is my 2nd-favorite Anderson film! Royal Tenenbaums is my #1 as well! Love the bitty Jason Schwartzman. Any chance you’ve seen the TV show “Bored to Death”? It has some very funny/quirky moments.

  11. Great flick – Luke Wilson’s small part in this was a highlight for me!

  12. Pingback: THE GRADUATE (1967) | MOVIES & MUSIC CAFE

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