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The life aquatic with Steve Zissou

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by Bristol Pete, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. Bristol Pete

    Bristol Pete
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    Watched this last night. Absolutely charming, brilliant film with great performances from another Wes Anderson ensemble cast :thumbsup:

    Highly recommended and true off the wall film making at its best. :smashin:

    Pete.
     
  2. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    Ditto to the above - loved this movie. Bought it unseen on the strength of the director's previous outings and was not disappointed. :smashin:
     
  3. Rambo John J

    Rambo John J
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    I love this movie :smashin: Bill Murray's perfectly cast, and the action scenes are hilarious :rotfl:
     
  4. themoid

    themoid
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    good news - looking forward to seeing this. if it's as good as the Tenenbaums then :thumbsup:
     
  5. Razor

    Razor
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    I was put off when I saw the trailer for this, I might now give it a go. Cheers :thumbsup:
     
  6. Bristol Pete

    Bristol Pete
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    This film is subtly brilliant and as good as if not better than the Royals.

    Clearly inspired by the films of Jacques Cousteau, the character of Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) is an underwater adventurer sliding fast on the downside of his career. Leading his Zissou crew on the Belafonte, a rusting old submarine chaser equipped with state-of-the-'70s-art technology, he looks for new and unusual life under the sea, even if people are much less interested in watching his adventures than they once may have been. When he loses his best friend to a massive beast that may or may not exist, it pushes him to leave his science behind, and seek revenge instead.

    In case you're wondering, Jaws this is not. The story will go in directions you won't predict and will introduce characters you couldn't expect. That's the key to an Anderson film: the characters. There may be a story going on that links the scenes, but it's the unique characters and how they relate to each other as people that make his movies so wonderful. When the final credit rolls by, you will remember characters with four lines just as vividly as the leads, because they were so distinctly fleshed out.

    As Zissou, Murray is fabulous, creating a paradox of a man, a guy who is at the end of his rope, but refuses to accept that, even when his shortcomings are laid out in front of him by Jane (Cate Blanchett), a reporter following his every move. Were Zissou's adventures the reason that children like Ned (Owen Wilson) idolized him, or did the idol worship of the children make him the adventurer he was? Issues with identity inform most every relationship in this film, especially Zissou's two father-figure connections, with Ned, who is possibly his son, and Klaus (Willem Dafoe), who just wishes he was. When you build your life around one externally-defined aspect of your persona, you're asking for trouble, and Zissou has found it.

    As good as Anderson is, without the performers that make up his troupe, this movie wouldn't be nearly as good as it is. Murray turns in another rock-solid performance in his increasingly impressive second-half career, forcing his supporting cast to raise their game another notch. Wilson responds with a nuanced performance as a man slowly putting himself together, while Dafoe is sublime as Wilson's foil, a jealous German with enough insecurity for the rest of the cast.

    Outside of the Zissou daddy strife, Blanchett and Angelica Houston (as Zissou's wife) are hardly surprising, delivering the type of strong performances they have built careers around. The same goes for Jeff Goldblum, who plays Zissou's greatest foe in a hilariously over-the-top role. Add in great supporting performances by veterans Bud Cort, Michael Gambon and Seymour Cassel, and you have a dream team of actors. That Anderson is able to blend this massive cast into the film he created, while not turning smaller parts into props or stereotypes, shows just how good he is.

    The Life Aquatic looks and sounds like a Wes Anderson film right from the top. Looking older than its age, thanks to choices made in film technique, costuming and set design, the film achieves a sense of timelessness, and an unusual beauty. Even little things like the fonts used in the opening titles have an effect on the overall feel of the film.

    One of the more unique creative choices was the decision to create the imaginative undersea life Zissou discovers in the decidedly low-tech stop-motion animation style, calling on the master craftsmanship of Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas). They could have gone with the more integrated look of CGI, but the unnatural feel of stop-motion fits the overall tone of the movie. Anderson has such a cohesive overview of his film that nothing seems like it doesn't go together; it's all part of the story that spills from Anderson's beautiful mind.
     
  7. BertyUK

    BertyUK
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    Ok so maybe this was way too subtle for me but i found it interesting but overall quite boring :boring:
    but you're right, Bill Murray was perfectly cast for the role
     
  8. thelordmagus

    thelordmagus
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    I found it quite good. Not as brilliant as Royal Tennenbaums, but still great! Long live Cousteau!
     
  9. CrazyHorse

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    Wonderful film. Possibly my favourite of Anderson's so far.
     

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