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The Life Aquatic (2004)

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Details Release Date: Dec 25, 2004; Rated: R; Length: 118 Minutes; Genres: Comedy, Drama; With: Bill Murray; Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures

''I'm shooting this action sequence, which is the strangest thing I've ever done.'' Director Wes Anderson is on the phone from Italy, unwinding with a plate of pasta con carciofi -- appropriate, considering he and pal Noah Baumbach (Kicking and Screaming) cooked up the movie over several New York suppers. With his usual quirks (albino dolphins, stop-motion animation), the Rushmore vet's fourth feature finds Bill Murray as a Jacques Cousteau-like oceanographer on the trail of a mythical beast. (Also on board: Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, and Owen Wilson.) But don't expect the star to affect a kooky accent. Says Anderson, ''He sounds like Bill Murray.'' That's molto bene with us.

Originally posted Jan 23, 2004 Published in issue #747-748 Jan 23, 2004 Order article reprints