Monday, January 16, 2012

Movie of the Week – The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

This week’s movie is The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004).

The comedy is about Steve Zissou, a washed up aquatic adventurer who goes on one last exploration with his team of misfits to find and kill the Jaguar Shark, which ate his best friend and partner when he last encountered it. It is the fourth film from writer-director Wes Anderson, and he co-wrote it with Noah Baumbach. Anderson works with the same teams as his first three films, including composer Mark Mothersbaugh (of Devo) and cinematographer Robert D. Yeoman. New to the team is production designer Mark Friedberg (who also designed Anderson’s film The Darjeeling Limited). The cast is fantastic with Bill Murray starring (giving one of his best post-Groundhog Day performances) and supporting work from Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Gambon, and more. From the animation of Henry Selick to the hysterical deadpan line delivery throughout and the brilliant score/David Bowie covers, The Life Aquatic has a lot to like. It is one of the more underrated films of the decade, encompassing a love of filmmaking mixed with both a very funny comedy and striking almost sad character study. I am a huge fan of the film (and really all of Anderson’s work) and highly recommend it to those looking for a more artistic approach to cinema comedy. Check out the trailer.

Available on DVD and Streaming

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