- 1 hr 33 min
Rushmore is a 1998 coming-of-age comedy-drama film directed and co-written by Wes Anderson. The movie stars Jason Schwartzman in his debut role as Max Fischer, a 15-year-old student at the prestigious Rushmore Academy who is more interested in extracurricular activities than academics. Max is infatuated with his teacher, Miss Cross, portrayed by Olivia Williams.
The movie is set in the fictional town of Rushmore and revolves around Max's attempts to win Miss Cross's affections, his strained relationship with his father, and his rivalry with Herman Blume, an industrialist played by Bill Murray. Max is both the student-body president and the editor of the school newspaper, but his lackluster grades place him in danger of being expelled. Despite his academic shortcomings, Max is convinced that he will be admitted to Harvard University, which he refers to as "his safety school."
The story of Rushmore is told through a series of vignettes that showcase Max's eccentric personality and his many interests, which include beekeeping, fencing, and staging elaborate plays. Max's elaborate productions, which involve elaborate set pieces and costumes, are often based on classic Hollywood movies and employ his classmates as actors. Max's fascination with Miss Cross leads him to befriend Blume, whom he mistakenly believes is also interested in her. Blume is initially dismissive of Max, but the two eventually form an unlikely bond and become partners in a complicated scheme to impress Miss Cross.
In addition to the central love triangle between Max, Miss Cross, and Blume, the movie also explores themes of adolescent identity, family dynamics, and the importance of finding one's place in the world. Max's relationship with his father, who is portrayed by Seymour Cassel, is particularly revealing. Max's father is a barber who is embarrassed by his son's academic deficiencies and frequently disagrees with his son's choice of extracurricular activities. Max, for his part, is convinced that his father does not appreciate his talents and strives to prove his worth to him.
The performances of the three leads are uniformly excellent. Schwartzman is pitch-perfect as the idiosyncratic Max, and his chemistry with Williams is palpable. Williams, in turn, brings a warmth and intelligence to the role of Miss Cross that makes it easy to understand why Max is so smitten with her. However, it is Murray who steals the show with his portrayal of Blume. Murray expertly mines the character's sadness and loneliness for both laughs and pathos, and his scenes with Schwartzman are some of the movie's best.
The movie's script, co-written by Anderson and actor Owen Wilson, is sharp and witty, filled with memorable dialogue and observations about youth, love, and ambition. Anderson's direction is similarly impressive, and he shows an impeccable eye for detail, creating a fully realized world that feels both fantastical and grounded in reality. The movie's soundtrack, which features a mix of classic rock songs and classical music, is also noteworthy.
In conclusion, Rushmore is a quirky and charming movie that tells a touching and funny story about growing up. Its unique characters, sharp writing, and distinctive visual style make it a standout film from the 1990s. The movie has become a cult classic over the years and is widely regarded as one of Wes Anderson's best works.
Rushmore is a 1998 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 33 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 86.