Fans of Wes Anderson directed films will delight in seeing 'Rushmore', as Anderson shows a light touch for irony, and a sweet tooth for profoundly quirky characters. The main character in this film is Max Fischer, a hyperactive 15-year old whose school grades suffer partly because he participates in every extra-curricular activity in the school. Max is played by a delightfully Jason Schwartzman who delivers big here. 'Rushmore' is the name of the school Max attends, and until a certain young lady makes the scene, his primary obsession is figuring out a way to stay in Rushmore forever.
Backing up Schwartzman in this film is Bill Murray who plays it very dry, and reminds you of no other character he has ever played in any film. This Bill Murray is the furthest thing from what he typically plays, and in this role it works splendidly. There is little doubt why Bill Murray garnered a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by a supporting actor in this project. When Murray (and this film) makes you laugh, it is a dark, and slightly astringent -- a dry-as-a-martini kind of funny. There is nothing at all slap-sticky about the performances in this film which is a hallmark of a Wes Anderson picture.
The chemistry between Max and Bill Murray's character Herman Blume is both compelling while at the same time constantly evolving. They both start out intrigued and curious of one another, but soon find themselves rivals for the affections of one Rosemary Cross, the new first grade teacher played by Olivia Williams. In this improbable love triangle, we feel the tension driving everything in the film. The audience becomes drawn in while the mutual admiration of these two characters morphs into a grudging respect accompanied by a desire to murder each other. At one point in the film Herman finds himself unable to do anything but compliment Max on his cunning and impressiveness of his assassination plans.