Sofia Coppola might have directed him to an Oscar nomination for Lost in Translation but Wes Anderson kick-started Bill Murray’s career renaissance – call it Murray’s ‘blue period’ – with this seminal school comedy of ill manners.
Here, Anderson and co-writer Owen Wilson (who remains off-screen although his brother Luke plays a key supporting role) present one of the great screen rebels: precocious blue-collar teen Max Fischer as incarnated by Jason Schwartzman in a remarkable screen debut.
Max is king of extracurricular activities at the prestigious Rushmore Academy, charming both a recently widowed teacher (Olivia Williams) and a burned-out industrialist (Murray). An unlikely love triangle develops and turns things very sour indeed. By turns unpredictable, droll, whip-smart and achingly tender, Rushmore established Anderson as a major talent and provided Schwartzman with a career-defining role he’s yet to better.
The closing moments, set to the music of The Faces, are very lovely indeed.
Showing as part of the OOH LA LA: WATCHING WES ANDERSON season throughout June.