I found Wes Anderson’s debut film, Bottle Rocket, disappointing. Thankfully for his second outing Rushmore Anderson took all the flaws of his debut and got rid of them. The end result is nothing less than perfect.
When you watch Rushmore you know that you’re watching a Wes Anderson film. Nearly all the trademarks of his future films can be found here: The use of the Futura font, quirky man children, a strong sense of aesthetic, a feel good ending, and of course, an amazing soundtrack. True some of these elements were in Bottle Rocket but here they are prominent.
As always the story is a simple one, Max Fischer (Jason Schwatrzman), an underachiever at the prestigious school, Rushmore, falls in love with with the primary school teacher (Oliva Williams). At the same time he he befriends nouveau riche Herman Blume (Bill murray), who also falls in love with the teacher. Eventually both try to win her heart and sabotage each other’s lives until the conflict is resolved.
Rushmore is just brilliant. The cast put their soul into their performances, in fact Bill Murray’s role as Herman Blume resurrected an ailing career. It was Jason Schwartzman’s first role and Olivia William’s second movie experience. As one can see all three actors had successful roles afterwards.
However it’s not only the three characters which make this film great. It’s the amount of charm it exudes. It also is the inventiveness ( Max holds plays that put the greatest movie director to shame) and there are the humorous moments, most of all I think that Rushmore feels fresh, even twenty years later. There’s a timeless feel that makes you conscious of the fact that this is something special. Finally Wes Anderson has made something that is distinct (yes I know there’s a heavy influence of French directors in his work) and rare: a romantic comedy that takes the usual tropes and gives them a distinctive look.
Quitessential Wes Anderson Moment: Max’s after party at the end of Rushmore will make you feel so good that you’ll wish that you were physically there.
Click here to read my Bottle Rocket review