The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)


Wes Anderson


Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, Angelica Huston, Willem Dafoe


Royal Tenebaums meets Jacques Cousteu meets Yellow Submarine, carried by Bill Murray


The old adage that any film with Bill Murray in can't be bad holds true, and goes one better. If you want some joie de vivre, then look no further, but take it with a pinch of the melancholy, surreal and sea salt.

It's nice to find somebody who can write and conceive humour, without being formulaic or bland. The writing is of the school of though that doesn't think every line must be utterly transparent at first glance past the rim of your Jumbo Pepsi. This is a Hollywood movie that takes the quirkiness Anderson showed in The Royal Tenenbaums to the next stage. From the fantastic underwater visuals of Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach), to the weird portugese renditions of David Bowie that make up the majority of the soundtrack, the whole experience of this film is pure entertainment.

I've only recently come to appreciate Owen Wilson as a comedy actor, and the supporting cast, including Jeff Goldblum, Angelica Huston, Willem Dafoe and Cate Blanchett actually add something to the film without being merely star cameos.

If you've liked any of Bill Murray's more recent films (Royal Tenenbaums, Lost in Translation etc..) you'll appreciate his understated yet at times excrutiatingly funny portrayal of a maritime legend trying to recreate his past glory days.

This director will go far if he manages to keep the vein of his movies although in the Hollywood mainstream, away from the blandness that is usually contained therein.

Rating: 9 / 10