Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1998. American Empirical Pictures, Touchstone Pictures. Screenplay by Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson. Cinematography by Robert D. Yeoman. Produced by Barry Mendel, Paul Schiff. Music by Mark Mothersbaugh. Production Design by David Wasco. Costume Design by Karen Patch. Film Editing by David Moritz. Podcasts: My Criterions. Golden Globe Awards 1998. Independent Spirit Awards 1998. New York Film Critics Awards 1998. Toronto International Film Festival 1998.
Jason Schwartzman is hilarious as a lovesick student at the titular private school, a member of every possible after school club but failing every subject he’s studying. Olivia Williams is the teacher who is also the apple of his eye, but he’s going to have to fight to have her because disenchanted Bill Murray (in his best performance yet), father of one of the students, is hot on her trail. The movie possesses a lazy glamour, a tacky wisdom all of its own; the depiction of a geeky, underachieving teenager as hero instead of comic relief in some plastic teen dream flick is a welcome and relieving one. Written by Anderson and Owen Wilson, who previously collaborated on the indie hit Bottle Rocket, and after Rushmore made The Royal Tenenbaums.