When Bill Murray first read the script for Rushmore, he said he’d play Herman Blume for free. Not bad for Wes Anderson’s second film.
It’s set in high school but it’s not a high school film. Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) loves his private prep school but he’s too busy saving Latin, directing a hit play and founding the Double-Team Dodgeball Society to go to class. He gets suspended and finds himself in a love triangle with a teacher, Miss Cross (Olivia Williams), and his new industrialist friend Herman.
Rushmore’s full of dislikable characters you can't help liking – particularly the smug, childish and endlessly quotable Max.
Herman Blume is sneaky and bullies his kids, but Murray, dressed in the same suit the whole time, deadpans his way through the film like a dream.
If you liked the stylish Wes Anderson trademarks in The Life Aquatic and The Darjeeling Limited, they’re absolutely magic here: dysfunctional families, The Rolling Stones soundtrack and the slow-mo ending.
But Rushmore’s got a much bigger heart than Anderson’s later stuff. And when it gets crushed, you can’t wait for Max’s next tantrum.
Buy Rushmore on DVD now.