Meet Max Fischer, a tenth-grade student at Rushmore Academy. His love for the school knows no bounds, and he goes to extreme lengths to show it. Filmmakers Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson bring us this hilarious and eccentric story, following Max’s journey filled with obsessions and comedic chaos.
Ever since impressing Dean Guggenheim with a play about Watergate in second grade, Max has been on an academic scholarship at Rushmore Academy. He’s a jack of all trades, participating in every school club imaginable, even the Rushmore Beekeepers. With dreams of attending Oxford or Harvard, Max lives with the maturity of an adult, leaving behind any remnants of childhood.
However, Max’s world is turned upside down when he faces “sudden death academic probation” due to poor grades. Despite his potential, charm, and energy, Max can’t seem to raise his grades above a C. One more mistake, and he risks being kicked out of his beloved school.
His fortunes change when he befriends Mr. Blume, a kindred spirit and generous supporter of the school. Blume’s willingness to fund Max’s crazy ideas raises his spirits. But everything becomes even more complicated when Max falls head over heels for Miss Cross, his first-grade English teacher. Max believes their connection is more than just attraction, fueled by his obsession with a Jacques Cousteau book.
Miss Cross kindly reminds Max of their age difference, but he interprets it as progress. Confidently, he replies, “I’m glad we had this conversation.” Max’s mix of innocence and delusion shapes his character and the overall tone of the movie.
“Rushmore” is hard to define, falling into a category of its own. Is it a dark comedy? An ironic romance? It’s difficult to say. But it’s precisely this uniqueness that makes it so enjoyable. The film stars Jason Schwartzman as Max, perfectly capturing the eccentricity and charm of the character. Bill Murray shines as the churlish Mr. Blume, effortlessly delivering comedy through his expressions and gestures.
Directed and co-written by Wes Anderson, with co-writer Owen Wilson, “Rushmore” is a testament to their exceptional vision and storytelling abilities. Their Texan upbringing shines through in the smart and witty script. The film is a mix of strange and wonderful, highlighted by Max’s dream of staging a Vietnam-themed school play complete with helicopters and machine guns.
Anderson and Wilson have carved out their own niche in filmmaking, much like the Coen brothers. “Rushmore” is a prime example of their talent and the unique films they bring to the world. It’s a movie that defies categorization and leaves a lasting impression.