"Sic Transit Gloria Mundi": So the glory of this world fades (by SigmaEcho)
Rushmore was the first Wes Anderson film I saw, and I didn't think much of it the first time. I used to think that Royal Tenenbaums was Anderson's first good film. I thought Bottle Rocket wore its rookie status on its sleeve; I thought Rushmore was flawed; and I thought Tenenbaums finally showed that Anderson had honed his craft and he would start making great films. I then re-watched Tenenbaums and found it to be even more satisfying on additional viewings. I realized that Anderson had actually crafted one of those rare pieces of cinema that reveals itself more and more upon repeat <more>
viewings. So I of course decided to give Rushmore a second look. Now that I've had a chance to see the DVD, I've had a much different experience viewing the film. Perhaps because I saw it on Pan and Scan VHS previously? Or perhaps because Anderson's vision requires an adjustment period?Some people will never like Anderson's films. They simply will not appeal to those out there who want clichéd Hollywood fodder. Some people will love Anderson's films from the moment they see them. Others, like myself, will need to see the films more than once to truly appreciate them. Anderson breaks convention in ways no one has done before - One has to understand that his films are deep where most films are shallow, and shallow where most films are deep. This will throw A LOT of people off, as evidenced by many of the comments on the message boards. Anderson's films begin where others end. In Rushmore, we see Max's fall from grace, not his climb up to become head of every club in his school. In Tenenbaums, we see the aftermath of the child prodigies, not their glory years. Again, this will throw a lot of people off, and indeed I heard this criticism of Tenenbaums quite a lot. Anderson constructs the world of his films around a cinema storybook. They are episodic, told in chapters. Some will find Anderson at first glance to be a rather egotistical filmmaker, as I once did. However, upon second glance, you can begin to see the rich text woven deeper in the films that might be hidden beneath quirkiness or drastic breaks from convention. The first time I saw Rushmore, I felt shock, embarrassment and confusion Mostly at Max and Rosemary's bizarre interaction . I was lost and unfamiliar with this world Anderson has created. The second time I saw the film I felt Passion, Love, Tragedy and ultimate Redemption. I found the heart in Anderson's film.If you felt Rushmore was not all it could have been the first time you saw it, please give it another chance. You'll find which side you fall on.
Wes Anderson reaches cinematic excellence with Rushmore, a story about Max Fischer a young man who's trying to find his own place in the world (by DaniVT88)
Wes Anderson's Rushmore is a movie full of everything that modern day cinematic crap movies lack; dry humor, unique writing, music that makes a scene unforgettable, and real heart. I feel as though Rushmore is cinematic excellence, Max Fischer is the perfectly flawed yet absolutely brilliant character who tries to find his place in the world, whether it's by engrossing himself in extracurricular activities or pretending he's the son of a neurosurgeon. All of the characters are finely tuned, Herman Blume is a successful man who feels worthless, Miss Cross is a brilliant woman who <more>
feels only sorrow because of the loss of her husband. But it is their flaws that make them so wonderful, they aren't boxed into labeled packages, they are raw and real human beings who are just trying to survive. This movie is about, as Max says, finding out what you love and doing it for the rest of your life. The camera angles in this film are interesting, connecting you to the environment and the characters. Wes Anderson picks the perfect music for each scene, especially for the heartbreaking scene at the end when Miss Cross and Max are dancing to the Faces "Ooh la la." But, what's most brilliant about Rushmore is how it makes you feel; pessimistic yet hopeful, sad yet joyful, confused yet clear-minded. A good movie makes you think but a great movie changes your perspective on the world and this is what Anderson has done. To quote Cousteau, as Miss Cross did in the Diving for Sunken Treasure book, "When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life he has no right to keep it to himself," and I'm glad that Wes Anderson created such an extraordinary movie and shared it with us all.
Speechless: One of the All-time Great Films (by minsker2000)
There's no real reason to critique this film because it's as close to perfect as any movie can get. Plus, it has been reviewed over 500 times on this site alone.One important aspect of this film, which is overlooked in practically every online review that I've read, is Wes Anderson's nod to the world of J.D. Salinger. The parallels between Holden Caulfield and Max are numerous, and when considered in light of THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS with its scenes at the museum and the b.b. gun battles , the canon of Wes Anderson is one that has been greatly colored by the imagination of J.D. <more>
Salinger. From Max's red hat to his expulsion, the film touches on many ideas from THE CATCHER IN THE RYE. Thematically, the works are quite similar and share an idiosyncratic mood.The other great influence on Wes Anderson, which is even more obvious to any student of film, is the work of Hal Ashby. In particular, the symmetry of Hal Ashby's shots in films like HAROLD AND MAUDE and BEING THERE. Watch RUSHMORE followed by HAROLD AND MAUDE followed by ROYAL TENENBAUMS followed by BEING THERE and you'll completely understand this sentiment.Where will THE LIFE AQUATIC fit into this equation?!?!?
Gorgeously faithful evocation of an adolescent's mindset. (by alice liddell)
Overextended rather than overlong, this is still, along with A BUG'S LIFE, the best American film of the year. Sadly, this has been an atrocious year for movies, so that isn't saying much being Europeans, we still haven't seen EYES WIDE SHUT or THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, so there's still hope . There has been no outstanding, awe-inspiring, terrifying, beautiful, blow-everything-out-of-the-water film this year, no PULP FICTION, THE USUAL SUSPECTS or HEAVENLY CREATURES. The main problem with new films is style. Because style has been reduced to empty, showy Lelouchisms, <more>
intelligent directors, like Solondz or Labute, have rejected style altogether; and their rather flat, dull compositions can detract from the undoubted brilliance of their content.RUSHMORE has style in spades. RUSHMORE is on the surface at least a very intelligent film. It is the kind of film my spouse would dismiss as 'a young man's film', but then so, apparently, was A BOUT DE SOUFFLE. The comparison is not gratuitous. There is a glorious, gleeful, freewheeling joy in cinema here that carries the film for the first hour, reminiscent of the early Nouvelle Vague, and Richard Lester. It's odd how these old devices - and there are also echoes of Chaplin, Keaton, the Marx Brothers, Tati and Woody Allen in here too - should seem so fresh and new. Has cinema stagnated so far? Most modern US indie film is stagy, rigid, overcomposed. This film uses all the old tricks to show life being lived, not an imposed thesis.As I suggested, the film is probably intelligent. I say probably, because this is not its main interest. It does interesting things with Oedipal conflicts - there are at least five father/son relationships in the film Max/Bert, Max/Dirk, Max/Hermann, Hermann/sons, Max/Edward Appleby , most of which are put under pressure, if not outright hostile, but resolved in unexpected ways. There is the influence of the dead on the living, unwritten stories intruding on those trying to write their own lives. There is the idea of Rushmore as a conservative, Brideshead-like arcadia, wherein also lies betrayal and death. The whole Ivy League or whatever second level's called over there system is debunked: whereas Rushmore will accept any trash as long as they're white, Max's multi-racial public school seems a much more vital place.What is great about this film is not these things, but its understanding of and sympathy for adolescent experience. The most obvious marker of this is self-dramatisation, and there is strong evidence the theatre curtains that open each section; Max's facility as a playwright; the repetition of portraits and framings within the film that this is not an 'objective' story, but Max's highly mediated view of his own life. The film is sprightly, energetic, hilarious and inventive when he is on top of life, sluggish and dour when he is depressed. This actually makes his pain even more moving, and why he can sympathise with Hermann throughout on an emotional level, even when he needs to hate him on a narrative one.Bill Murray gives the year's outstanding performance, which will hopefully be ignored at the Oscars - there is such depth to his angst, such humour to his self-lacerating millionaire, a self-made man who tragically sees himself as a loser. Few actors today can be so heartbreaking while seeming to do so little. And people still think Meryl Streep is an actress.It is Jason Schwarzmann, though, who must carry the film, and he is perfect - brave, enterprising, irritating, vital. His romantic object is rather a drip, as adolescent idealisations generally are, and her swearing wake-up call is suitably shocking. Brian Cox is hilarious as a gruff, though sympathetic, headmaster, whose fate again suggests youthful wish-fulfillment. The use of music is as inventive as any great film I've seen. The film is actually quite bleak, and we can only thank our stars that Max isn't a goth - his doomed inventiveness staves of despair. Wonderful.
"Rushmore" is a comic original. With its dry, throwaway humor and constant stream of chuckles, it creates its own category of stealth comedy. There's a sweet humanity about the picture, though it's anything but sentimental. It's odd, definitely odd. Credit the film's startling originality to director Wes Anderson, and his co-screenwriter, Owen Wilson. These friends from the University of Texas - made their debut with the independent hit "Bottle Rocket". It's structured like a comedy-but there are undertones of darker themes. Whether you see the film as <more>
a slowed-down farce, or as a souped-up tragedy, "Rushmore" is packed with richly realized characters. Max Jason Schwartzman , a fifteen-year-old misfit in glasses and braces, a terrible student-but enjoys many extracurricular activities at Rushmore Academy. He is then befriended and then betrayed by Herman Bill Murray , a school benefactor, when both fall for first-grade teacher Rosemary Cross the magnetic British actress Olivia Williams --and Max and Herman make foolish attempts to get back at each other. Rosemary is haunted by her own ghosts. Her husband, a former Rushmore student, drowned the year before. She lives in a room filled with artifacts from his school days. Max reminds her of the boy she married, Herman of the man he never grew up to be. Bill Murray plays Mr. Blume, a local industrialist who somehow, through the veil of his own middle-aged angst, finds himself responding to Max's personality. Like Max, Blume also is alienated. He has a family that makes no sense--a pair of dumb and vicious jock twin sons. "Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine having sons like this," he deadpans. It's safe to say that Murray has one of the most emotionally layered deadpans of the century. To look at him is to recognize in Blume a fellow who, at his age, becomes lovesick and pathetic. He knows it and is sad about it, and yet sees the humor in his own sorry spectacle. This is a first-class performance. While everything is falling apart for everyone, Max brings what closure that can actually be, by delivering the most ambitious school play ever attempted. "Rushmore" manages to pay tribute to movies as diverse as "The Graduate" and "Apocalypse Now"--and still brim over with the pleasures of the unexpected. Anderson fills each frame of his rigorously constructed fable with detail. That extends to a terrific soundtrack of British Invasion hits - Cat Stevens, the Kinks, the Faces, the Who, the Stones - that catches the anger roiling under Rushmore's placid exterior. On subsequent viewings, the plaintive subtext of even the funniest scenes becomes readily apparent.
I wasn't planning on this. I liked Bottle Rocket plenty, but was aware that Wes Anderson was a divisive director and that Rushmore would represent a very possible peak for his style. I was also aware that if I liked this movie, or, gasp, loved it, I would never escape the cloud of hipster-ism that would surely pop out of nowhere and provide woeful narration for the duration of my life. And yet... I loved it. Yup, I'm pretty sure that I loved Rushmore.Now, I'm pretty sure I didn't like Max Fischer much at all. I mean, he's a little endearing, but also remarkably sinister, <more>
and oddly dark for a comedy. But then, Rushmore isn't like most comedies. I've been working on a rather far-fetched theory that the most enduring comedies all stem from an inner darkness, or depression see Louie, Burn After Reading, etc. , and Rushmore certainly works that angle. Although Max and Herman's antics create a lot of comedy, they're rooted in an obsession or is it devotion? for love--Rosemary. She calls them children, I'll call them innocent--Herman obviously identifies with Max for his idealism and his spark, his imagination and his wit, and above all he identifies with Max's courage. Herman's cannonball is laugh-inducing, but also some form of suicide, some form of drowning. He's feeling a little lonely, and he wants to escape. Max's attempts to impress Rosemary are less depressed, but they reveal a manic and willful distortion of expectations and human interaction--he's a deeply disturbed little person, redeemed by a wild imagination and a frightening ability to love. Think of his obsessions before Rosemary: Rushmore, and his plays. And think of his explanation for going to Rushmore: "my mother saw my play and thought I should go to Rushmore." That must be grief, right? Max's infatuation with Rosemary is a deeply uncomfortable plot device for a movie like this to carry on with, but it works because it all contributes to catharsis. Like the part in the play where the train zooms by, many significant moments in the movie are drenched in sound and represent a release--Anderson loves his songs, but they're also background noise to disguise the intensity of the movie, rather than to simply amplify it. Max's love of Rosemary also sets into motion him finally getting over his mother's death, and accepting his father's identity--Rosemary is similarly afflicted with a devotion to a dead person. And when Max identifies "a dead fingernail", he's come to terms with something inside him as well. One of my favorite interactions in the movie is when Margaret Yang interrupts him, and she reveals that she fudged her experiment results: "It didn't work. I thought it would, but it didn't, so I faked the results." Or something of that nature. In the end, Rushmore is about fakery, and about spectacle, and about how real life doesn't operate that way. But it's also about embracing that honesty even in fakery and allowing it to guide a person to maturity and acceptance. For a movie often derided as all style, Rushmore carries so much substance it kinda hurts.
Very well written, acted and directed. (by oranium87)
Well I saw this movie some time ago. It's in the style of Wes Anderson's later movies , "The Royal Tenenbaums" and "Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou". The movie is a bit surrealistic and sour but the humor is deep and when you think back about this movie you can remember lots of it's jokes like how the main character, Marx Fischer used Latin in his latest play. Bill Murray was just as great as in his other Anderson movies. If you're looking for a comedy where you laugh at every scene this is not the movie but as a surrealistic comedy the movie is great. Also <more>
I liked some of the music in the film for example Rolling Stones and Cat Stevens. I think that Wes Anderson is a really special director and his style is of that kind that not nearly all of people like his movies.Mr. Hawkins
Very rarely can a director evoke so much awkwardness and kindness from his/her silent moments in their films. Wes Anderson is one filmmaker who can. His characters are so richly drawn, finely acted and beautifully directed, that even when they're not speaking... we can read their emotions, we feel their pain. Young Jason Swartzman gives a fantastic performance. Even nicer is the surprise turn by Bill Murray, who manages to play a good guy and a villain at the same time. In one scene he is wearing Budweiser boxer shorts on a diving board. He is smoking a cigarette and jumps, doing a <more>
cannonball into his sewer-ridden pool. We see him curled up at the bottom of his pool, drowning himself in misery. Is this a connection to his future lover's dead husband? Who knows. But what we do know is that Anderson has crafted his film to star the most unlikely of heroes. They are the oddest of the bunch, but at the same time we know what they are going through. Their oddness aside, what we learn to see more of, is their hearts. It is obvious Anderson has wiped his heart all over this piece, and it pays off more than I'm sure he ever could have imagined.
Here is a film that is so uncomplicated and so brilliantly conceived compared to all other comedies that it is a must see. It is a comedy, but at the same time it is touching and meaningful and works in every way. It's a great example of a film that is done right. It just works. The film is about a kid named Max Jason Schwartzman , a student who spends most of his time with his extracurricular activities and not enough time with his school work. He is an underachiever, and an enthusiastic one at that. He falls creepily in love with a teacher, Ms. Cross Olivia Williams who doesn't <more>
quite resent him, but definitely is taken aback by his stalker like presence. Max is friends with Mr. Blume Bill Murray who is a man that Max greatly admires, until he falls in love with Ms. Cross. Max decides to get revenge on Blume, and the two have a war consisting of cruel and unusual tricks and mind games. Add to this a young boy named Dirk Mason Gamble who wants revenge on Max for telling someone that he had a sexual encounter with his mom. This film is kind of like a French version of THE GRADUATE, mixed with darker humor and a faster pace. Jason Schwartzman does a fantastic job as Max, injecting a kind of arrogance and laid back presence that normally would be ignored in another film. Here, the character doesn't have the usual likable qualities that the same kind of character in another movie would have. Bill Murray also does an excellent job, despite his role not really being a integral as one would think. Right from the scene where his character is introduced, you can tell that this is a different kind of role for Murray. He is able to make the character more realistic by not having an ironic and silly persona and makes the character more human by showing that he has his limits. And Olivia Williams does a really cool job too. Her character doesn't have any sort of haunting qualities that you'd expect from her character and instead is just normal, depressed, and fairly smart woman who just so happens to have a man and a boy after her at the same time. I love the film because it doesn't have Hollywood conventions that people usually look for in a film. Instead, it has a tone and pace that betrays the usual things people are used to. It is a quirky and strange film. The soundtrack is filled with modern classic British tunes. The look of the film is extremely colorful. The film is full of dead pan energy. The intensity of the characters give it an edge that most films wouldn't dare toy around with. And as if it couldn't get any better, the film has one of the most touching endings I've seen to a film in modern years. You'd have to be crazy not to at least appreciate this one.