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Wes Anderson's blackly humorous rites-of-passage drama, lends a new twist to the high-school comedy genre. Max Fischer (Jason Schwartman) is quite possibly the worst student at Rushmore Academy. Academically inept and socially unskilled, Max is every teacher's worst nightmare were it not for his boundless enthusiasm for the school and his seemingly endless extra-curricular activities. President of many of the after-school clubs (from Latin and bee-keeping to chess and poetry), Max lives, eats, drinks and breathes Rushmore. It is his home. So when the lovely English teacher Rosemary (Olivia Williams) breezes into his life, Max is instantly smitten. Rosemary is flattered by the attention (not least when Max begins raising money to build a school aquarium in her honour) but isn't interested in taking the relationship any further. Matters are duly complicated when one of Max's few friends, local businessman Herman Blume (Bill Murray) falls under Rosemary's spell, and she also falls for him. Humiliated and betrayed, Max can only think of one thing - revenge - and focuses all of his thoughts on teaching Herman the meaning of friendship. The central trio is brilliantly realised by screenwriter Owen Wilson, each somehow endearing yet at the sametime pathetic. Schwartman, Williams and Murray give superb performances, bringing out the different sides of their characters: Murray is especially impressive in one of his few serious roles, torn between his allegiance to lonely Max and his burgeoning attraction for Rosemary. The smartness of the script is matched by Anderson's simple though effective direction, allowing the characters to drive the narrative rather than be driven by it. A perfectly fashioned gem of a movie.