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Rushmore ★★★½ 1998 (R)

Fresh and original comedy from Wes Anderson follows 15yearold Max (Schwartzman), an underachieving yet overconfident student at Rushmore Academy. He has romantic designs on teacher Miss Cross (Williams), and enlists the help of wealthy alum Herman Blume (Murray) in his quest to impress her. Blume also falls for the woman, however, instigating a war of nasty tricks between the two quirky rivals. Murray drops his trademark smirk and gives his best performance to date. Also shining is newcomer Schwartzman, who is the son of Talia Shire. At this rate, the Coppola show biz clan may take over Hollywood by sheer population as well as talent. 93m/C VHS, DVD . Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Olivia Williams, Seymour Cassel, Brian Cox, Mason Gamble, Sara Tanaka, Connie Nielsen, Kim Terry, Stephen McCole, Ronnie McCawley, Keith McCawley; D: Wes Anderson; W: Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson; C: Robert Yeoman; M: Mark Mothersbaugh. Ind. Spirit '99: Director (Anderson), Support. Actor (Murray); L.A. Film Critics '98: Support. Actor (Murray); N.Y. Film Critics '98: Support. Actor (Murray); Natl. Soc. Film Critics '98: Support. Actor (Murray).