Rushmore (Criterion) (Blu-Ray)
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The dazzling sophomore film from Wes Anderson (Fantastic Mr. Fox) is equal parts coming-of-age story, French New Wave homage, and screwball comedy. Tenth grader Max Fischer (The Darjeeling Limited’s Jason Schwartzman) is Rushmore Academy’s most extracurricular student—and its least scholarly. He faces expulsion, and enters into unlikely friendships with both a lovely first-grade teacher (The Ghost Writer’s Olivia Williams) and a melancholy self-made millionaire (Groundhog Day’s Bill Murray, in an award-winning performance). Set to a soundtrack of classic British Invasion tunes, Rushmore defies categorization; it captures the pain and exuberance of adolescence with wit, emotional depth, and cinematic panache.
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Top Customer Reviews
What makes you laugh?
I often think about my own sense of humor and it's difficult to pin down at times. I tend to avoid cheap laughs or things done for shock value, and I admire intelligent dialogue and quirky or original takes on everyday situations. One director who never fails to make me smile is Wes Anderson. He definitely falls into the quirky category, but there is so much more to his movies than that.
Rushmore is Anderson's second movie, coming two years after his debut, Bottle Rocket. Both movies were written with Owen Wilson, and they have a similar feel. Anderson is one of those directors who appears to make movies about nothing and it's easy to sit there wondering what you just watched. But, unlike many comedies, there are deeper themes present. I usually find myself thinking about Anderson's work several days after I see the movie. That's the case this time, and it's the main reason I am writing this review.
Rushmore stars Jason Schwartzman in his first role. He plays Max Fischer, who is a 15-year-old student at Rushmore, a private school. He's there because he wrote a play in second grade and won a scholarship. Most of the students have rich parents, but Max's father is a barber and Max has to lie and claim that he's the son of a brain surgeon in order to gain acceptance.
Max is struggling at school and is informed that he'll be expelled if he flunks another class. His main problem is not one of intelligence, it's his lack of focus. He takes on so many extracurricular activities that he doesn't have time to work on his grades.Read more ›
But, I was hopelessly drawn to them in minutes, and interested in what they were going to do or say.
Bill Murray excels in this movie. Forget "Lost in Translation", THIS film contains his best work. He truly shows an emotional scale that ranges from A to Z.
The supporting oddball characters are mercilessly intriguing. Just when you think they're coming out of left field (or from another planet), they show their humanity. End result: you end up liking them...a lot.
The music is right on target, especially Cat Stevens. The instrumental portions are appropriately playful and memorable.
I loved this movie. It's a masterpiece.
The packaging is superb, and the DVD contains enough bonus material to make this one fine purchase. Yep, it costs a lot, but the old adage is true: You get what you pay for.
Bill Murray provides a remarkable performance as a self-made millionaire, Mr. Blume, whom young Max solicits for his grandest scheme yet, a multi-million dollar aquarium to please the young teacher he is so smitten by. This soon evolves into a very comic love triangle, with Max opting for some rather dark attempts at getting back at Blume for stealing his love interest. The object of affection is a very fetching Olivia Williams.
There are so many odd turns in this movie that it continually catches you by surprise. Most notable are the plays Max stages including a theatrical version of Serpico and one of the Vietnam War. But, probably the most touching scenes are those between Max and his father, played by Seymour Cassel. Max tries to distance himself from the lowly station of his father, a local barber, but eventually is able to reconcile himself with his father.
Max finally accepts that Miss Cross maybe a little too old for him, and places his affections in the more suitable Margaret Yang, having now been kicked out of Rushmore and finding himself having to face the trials and tribulations of public school. The movie is underscored by a fine soundtrack that includes Rod Stewart's Ooh La La, when he sang for the Faces. This is a great movie, ranking up there with Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Dazed and Confused as one of the best high school movies of all time.
Granted, the play's the thing, ....Also granted, some Criterion titles are all prestige and no payoff (Seven Samurai anyone?). But this is one of the very few instances where the potential of DVD technology has been fully and briliantly exploited. You can read the list of special features for yourself in the product description. Let me assure you that the technical enhancements make this transfer look glorious even on a regular television, and the content of the commentary track and other extras truly add to the Rushmore Experience.
If you love this movie, the Criterion Collection version is worth the investment. And my local video guru tells me that it's now out of print, so if you've had it on the back burner, don't put it off much longer.
On a personal note, if Bill Murray doesn't finally win the Oscar this year for Bob Harris that he earned for Herman Blume in 1998, Hollywood should fall into the ocean.
Most recent customer reviews
This was a charming and quirky movie! Well written, well acted, and well filmed... humourous and thought provoking... Highly recommendedPublished 24 months ago by jane dormon
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
In this movie, 10th grader Max Fischer falls in love with the widowed 1st grade teacher at his school. Read more
Rushmore is the greatest movie of all time. go buy it now. Jason Schwartzman is hysterical, and is also one hell of a drummer!Published on Feb. 19 2004 by Brian DeMartinis
There isn't much I can't say about this film that hasn't already been said. This is a great comedy, and probably my favorite of Wes Anderson's films. Read morePublished on Dec 25 2003 by Joseph W. Bauer
Rushmore, the creator's second film, showcases Anderson's orderly and painstakingly precise directorial style. Read morePublished on Dec 2 2003 by Nobody!
The combination of great acting, story, music, direction, and dialogue adds to the experience. From Bill Murray's one liners to Jason Schwartzman's mannerisms, you will find that... Read morePublished on Nov. 25 2003
Wes Anderson followed up the wonderful "Bottle Rocket" with "Rushmore," a coming-of-age romantic-comedy-drama that actually seems halfway plausible. Read morePublished on Nov. 21 2003 by EA Solinas
Rushmore, the sophomore effort of brilliant writer/director Wes Anderson is a really good film. I always sound so stupid when I write these reviews, but I just can't help but gush... Read morePublished on Nov. 12 2003 by just some loser