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Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Life Aquatic

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Criterion Collection
Release date: May 10. Droool. My gushing review from the end of 2004:
Wes Anderson's genre-bending adventure is my favorite film of the year. Add action and pseudodocumentary to his usual mix of offbeat drama and tongue-in-cheek dark comedy, and you have a quirky, winning combination. The cast is strong throughout: Bill Murray brings a unique energy to the screen and imbues his character with the complexity and edginess necessary to drive this rather unconventional mid-life crisis story; Owen Wilson's deadpan delivery as Zissou's possible long lost son works well; Willem Dafoe is funny as a jealous senior team member; Anjelica Huston is a commanding presence in her smaller role, sometimes even stealing scenes from Murray; Cate Blanchett is lovely as a pregnant journalist whose incisive questioning and romantic impassability rub Zissou the wrong way; Jeff Goldblum is hilarious as Zissou's ambiguously bi archrival; and Seu Jorge is a great supporting cast member who helps segue scenes with fun Portugese renditions of David Bowie songs. Initially, the atmosphere may seem lighter than that of Rushmore or The Royal Tenenbaums. However, the humor and quirky plot do not mask the dark undercurrent or detract from the poignancy of the film's climax. Although the screenplay seems a little bit more disjointed than those co-written with Owen Wilson, the playful randomness is a welcome element in this adventure and I didn't feel too much was missing from Wilson's absence in the writing department. The set pieces and costumes are appropriately weird and wonderful and Wes Anderson is certainly in his element with effective use of color (i.e. the helicopter scene), music, editing, shot selection, CGI, and mise-en-scene (especially the intro, the entrance and exit of key characters, and the ending).

DJMonsterMo | 1:36 AM |


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