• James Rutherford

'Rushmore': Wes Anderson's Wonderfully Quirky Coming-of Age Tale of Ambition and Self-Actualization


Movie poster for the film Rushmore starring Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray

"Rushmore" (1998) is the eccentric and wryly comical tale of preparatory school student Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman), a 15 year-old scholarship grantee at the prestigious Rushmore Academy in Houston, Texas. The storyline follows his burgeoning friendship with a wealthy business tycoon named Herman Blume (Bill Murray), who reacts favorably to Max's bravado and determination. Despite enormous ambition in his extracurricular pursuits, including leadership roles in student government, the school newspaper, the dodgeball society and numerous additional affiliations, Max struggles dismally in his academic studies. His budding camaraderie with Blume offers newfound inspiration and affirmation until their mutual affection for a new elementary teacher named Rosemary (Olivia Williams) drives a hard wedge between the two of themsetting the course for a sordid and amusing tale of fierce competitiveness and advanced one-upmanship. Co-written and directed by celebrated auteur Wes Anderson ("The Royal Tenenbaums", "The Grand Budapest Hotel"), "Rushmore" is an alternatingly humorous, absurdist and drolly insightful depiction of hard-fought maturation and self-actualization. Schwartzman and Murray shine in their dynamic roles, delivering great comic energy and piercing dry wit amidst their often adolescent transgressions. A grade-A sophomore effort from Anderson (following his debut "Bottle Rocket"), it's a unique comedic masterpiece and a wonderful harbinger of things to come.

 

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