Review: Rushmore

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Jason Schwartzman in Rushmore
Jason Schwartzman in Rushmore



Hollywood in look but in tone something else, this is the odd tale of an intellectually precocious, loquacious, speccy, blazer-wearing 15-year-old (Jason Schwartzman) who falls for one of his teachers, pretty Olivia Williams (think of a non-irritating Liz Hurley with a couple of decent dinners inside her). Unfortunately, misanthropic  local steel baron Bill Murray (back on Groundhog Day form) is equally smitten. Faint heart never won fair lady and the oddly mismatched and yet similarly obsessive love rivals are soon at it hammer and tongues. Very weird and often touching romantic comedy ensues as these two strange characters are dissected, helped along by acting that’s all played straight, no one raises even so much as an ironic eyebrow. There’s a nicely chosen soundtrack with some old favourites (Kinks, Stones, Cat Stevens, Donovan), though it’s not the usual suspects by all those guys, more the offbeat, whimsical examples of their work. As with Anderson’s first effort, Bottle Rocket, keeping it fresh seems to be the idea. It works.

© Steve Morrissey 1999


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Rushmore (1998) Comedy, Drama, Romance | 93min | 19 February 1999 (USA) 7.7
Director: Wes AndersonWriter: Wes Anderson, Owen WilsonStars: Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia WilliamsSummary: Max Fischer is a precocious 15-year-old whose reason for living is his attendance at Rushmore, a private school where he's not doing well in any of his classes, but where he's the king of extracurricular activities - from being in the beekeeping society to writing and producing plays, there's very little after school he doesn't do. His life begins to change, however, when he finds out he's on academic probation, and when he stumbles into love with Miss Cross, a pretty teacher of the elementary school at Rushmore. Added to the mix is his friendship with Herman Blume, wealthy industrialist and father to boys who attend the school, and who also finds himself attracted to Miss Cross. Max's fate becomes inextricably tied to this odd love triangle, and how he sets about resolving it is the story in the film. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.>


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