Rushmore (1998)

rushmore poster 1998 movie wes anderson
10 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great movie, great acting, great visuals, one of the best of the '90s

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Movie Info

Movie Name:  Rushmore

Studio:  Touchstone Pictures

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  October 9, 1998

MPAA Rating:  R

rushmore-max

I saved Latin…what did you ever do?

Max (Jason Schwartzman) is in love. He loves his school the elite Rushmore Academy where he has a scholarship due to his skills at making great plays, and while Max is a die-hard Rushmore student with a multitude of clubs, he’s also one of the worst students. When Max meets a new teacher named Rosemary Cross (Olivia Williams), he finds another love that gets him expelled. Now the battle is on between Max and his mentor/friend Herman Blume (Bill Murray) for the love of Rosemary, and it might cost Max everything he has.

Rushmore was directed by Wes Anderson and a follow-up to his independent hit Bottle Rocket (1996). It was written by Anderson and Owen Wilson (Wilson’s brothers Luke Wilson and Andrew Wilson appear in the film).  The dark comedy was met with rave reviews and the main actors were all cited for great performances.  It was released by Criterion in a collector’s edition (Criterion #65).

rushmore-club

We’re going to rock the world!

In my opinion, Rushmore is one of the best films of the 1990s. It has the ability to go from light hearted to dark in a snap. There are playful moments like Max’s love of clubs and crazy plays, and dark moments like Max’s cutting of Blume’s brake cables and what almost appears as an attempted rape by Max of Rosemary (though he really doesn’t know what he’s doing). The story despite being marketed as a simple comedy on the outside is quite complex and really about childhood, being an adult, and relationships.

The movie is really aided by Anderson’s great visuals that I feel are at his best in this film. His use of framing and colors is great and reminiscent of other great directors who really know how to use the frame to tell the story. Added to this is a rockin’ soundtrack that really captures the emotions of what is going on in the story.

rushmore-dance

No one got hurt…

It would be easy to say either Murray or Schwartzman are the breakout stars of this movie but there are so many rich characters. Murray went from being the leading man comedy actor to a serious actor who can still pull off comedic moments. Schwartzman (a Coppola…the son of Talia Shire), also excels to a level he hasn’t reached since. His devotion to the role is perfect and he can be funny and scary. With two great performances, some of the other great players were overshadowed.   Olivia Williams is nice as, and I can’t understand why she didn’t become more of a star.  Brian Cox is great as the frustrated Rushmore headmaster, and Mason Gamble left his Dennis the Menace roots behind to play Dirk Calloway. Even small roles are fun with the gross twins Ronny and Donny (Ronnie McCawley and Keith McCawley), Bert Fischer (Seymour Cassel), Margaret Yang (Sara Tanaka), Dr. Peter Flynn (Owen Wilson), and Magnus Buchan (Stephen McCole). Plus Anderson throws in all his normal players from his films.

Rushmore is a great film and I can’t commend it enough. It shows how the independent boom of the early ’90s actually grew past the flash and snappy dialogue to something even better. I love Anderson’s style and Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, and The Royal Tenenbaums represent his best. Check out Rushmore for a unique and different story and a really screwed up comedy.

 

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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