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Rushmore - Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams, Wes Anderson

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Rushmore is the story of a gifted, rebellious teenager named Max Fisher (Jason Schwartzman), a student at elite Rushmore Academy. Editor of the school newspaper, captain or president of innumerable clubs and societies, Max is also one of the worst students in the school and the threat of expulsion hangs permanently over his head.

Max's world is rocked when he falls for elegant teacher Miss Cross (Olivia Williams) and he plans to erect an aquarium in her honour - then finds himself competing for her affections with his friend, steel tycoon Herman Blume (Bill Murray), the wealthy father of two of his classmates.

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Teen drama high school teacher philosophy romance angst

Persons of interest

  • Jason Schwartzman .... Max Fischer
  • Bill Murray .... Mr Herman J Blume
  • Olivia Williams .... Miss Rosemary Cross
  • Seymour Cassel .... Bert Fischer
  • Brian Cox .... Doctor Nelson Guggenheim
  • Mason Gamble .... Dirk Calloway
  • Sara Tanaka .... Margaret Yang
  • Stephen McCole .... Magnus Buchan
  • Connie Nielsen .... Mrs Calloway
  • Luke Wilson .... Doctor Peter Flynn
  • Dipak Pallana .... Mr Adams
  • Andrew Wilson .... Coach Beck
  • Marietta Marich .... Mrs Guggenheim
  • Ronnie McCawley .... Ronny Blume
  • Keith McCawley .... Donny Blume
  • Owen Wilson .... Screenwriter
  • Wes Anderson .... Screenwriter
  • Wes Anderson .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Pretty on Prozac.

Rushmore is summed up by the closing credits soundtrack which goes something vaguely like If only I knew then what I know now. It's about someone (Max) making mistakes like any normal human being, even though he isn't one. The script is (metaphorically) written by Max as an adult, so you get to see all the angst he went through as a 15-year-old under/over achiever falling in love with the wrong people and not with the right people. Think of it as one man's regression therapy.

Which is all a round about way of saying that Rushmore is not an easy film to watch. There's no real story (Max simply moves from day to day), the comedy comes from having been there and done that (assuming you've made the same mistakes as Max), the drama (such as there is) comes from Max' stubborn tenacity vis à vis picking over the same old wounds. It's a slow ride for grown ups, not a teen sound bite like American pie or Election.

Jason goes off as Max. Every scene is grounded and rounded. He brings things to the character which the script cannot portray. He is totally in touch with his alter ego. Bill is not in the least bit funny, which is a good thing as Herman Blume is not a funny character: he's pathetic. Bill gets this point across well but doesn't go as deep into the character as I would've liked. Olivia's good.

Whether you watch this film is up to you, of course, but I advise that there aren't many of you who will be able or desirous of enjoying it. Which is a bit of a shame, but that's life.

Security censorship classification

M (Low level coarse language, sexual references)

Surveillance time

93 minutes (1:33 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

VHS rental: 14 March 2000

Cinema surveillance images

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