Van Redin
Chris Nashawaty
November 21, 2011 AT 05:00 AM EST


Current Status
In Season
93 minutes
Wide Release Date
Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Olivia Williams, Seymour Cassel, Brian Cox, Mason Gamble, Luke Wilson
Wes Anderson
American Empirical, Touchstone Pictures, Walt Disney Productions
Buena Vista Pictures
Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson
Comedy, Romance

We gave it an A-

As much as I want to be a Wes Anderson fan, I have a hard time with most of his films. Watching something like The Royal Tenenbaums or The Darjeeling Limited, one can easily get swept up by the corduroy-clad auteur’s microscopic attention to detail. His sets are like gorgeous flea-circus dioramas, and his soundtracks make Quentin Tarantino’s seem as obvious as Top 40 radio. But Anderson’s characters tend to lack genuine warmth…or a human pulse at all. That said, I absolutely adore Rushmore (1998, R, 1 hr., 33 mins.). Anderson’s sophomore film may be the funniest, most original American coming-of-age story since The Catcher in the Rye. Just out on a beautiful new Criterion Blu-ray, Rushmore looks and feels as fresh today as it did — can it really be? — 13 years ago. The credit mainly goes to Bill Murray as the mustachioed, world-weary steel tycoon Herman Blume, and Jason Schwartzman as the self-confident, blazer-clad 15-year-old fencer/beekeeper/all-around autodidact Max Fischer. Here are two men sentenced to walk the manicured grounds of Rushmore Academy with the knowledge that they’re smarter than everyone else. That is, until they meet each other. In a movie loaded with wonderfully sweet moments of eccentricity, there’s one that kills me every time I see it: the sight of Schwartzman standing backstage watching his Max Fischer Players’ stage production of Serpico. The expression of pride on his face is priceless. My only complaint with this new edition is the EXTRAS, which, while plentiful, are holdovers from the 2000 DVD edition. Who wouldn’t love to hear a new commentary from Murray and Schwartzman? A-

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