In Wes Anderson's THE LIFE AQUATIC, a group of oceanic explorers who call themselves Team Zissou embark on a journey to hunt down the "jaguar shark" that ate one of their crew members (Seymour Cassel). Determined to avenge the death of his dear friend, team leader Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) is melancholic about the journey he's about to make. Meanwhile, financial troubles and nostalgia for his past make Zissou behave like a reckless playboy, an aging softie, and a past-his-prime tyrant. Surrounding Zissou are a hodgepodge of eccentrics--a pregnant journalist doing a magazine feature (Cate Blanchett), an airline pilot from Kentucky who claims he is Zissou's son (Owen Wilson), an emotionally needy European (Willem Dafoe), an acoustic guitarist who sings David Bowie songs in Portuguese (Seu Jorge), Zissou's brilliant wife (Anjelica Houston), and her ex-husband who is Zissou's seafaring nemesis (Jeff Goldblum). Clad in baby-blue polyester uniforms, Addidas sneakers, and red stocking caps, Team Zissou is a sight to see. And as their deep-sea adventure takes them into dangerous waters where they are attacked by pirates and dazzled by CGI fish, the group finds magic both in their bonds to each other and in the colorful world around them.
In keeping with Anderson's unique brand of escapist humor, these caricatured characters are nothing short of fascinating. While their lives are extraordinary, they act bored, dwelling on banalities like hurt feelings, jealousy, and loneliness. The more absurd their stories are, the more believable their quirky personalities become. With plenty of hilarious moments offsetting the film's tongue-in-cheek sentimentalism, THE LIFE AQUATIC is sure to please seasoned Anderson fans and make new ones of the uninitiated.
Wes Anderson - Director/Screenwriter
Barry Mendel - Producer, 'Rushmore' (1999)
Mark Mothersbaugh - Film and TV Composer, RUSHMORE (1998)
Willem Dafoe - American Actor
William Dafoe - American Actor
Bill Murray - American actor, LOST IN TRANSLATION, MEATBALLS
Michael Gambon - Irish Stage/Film Actor - A Dry White Season/Sleepy Hollow
Noah Baumbach - Director/Writer
Owen Wilson - Actor, screenwriter, THE WEDDING CRASHERS, MEET THE PARENTS
Owen C. Wilson - Actor, screenwriter, THE WEDDING CRASHERS, MEET THE PARENTS
Cate Blanchett - Australian Actress
Jeff Goldblum - American actor
Robert D. Yeoman - Director of photography
Robert Yeoman - Director of photography
Randall Poster - PRODUCER/WRITER/MUSIC
Scott Rudin - Producer/Executive
Seymour Cassel - American character actor
Anjelica Huston - American actress, THE GRIFTERS/THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS
Bud Cort - Actor/"Harold & Maude"
Walter Edward Cox - Actor/"Harold & Maude"
Theatrical Release: December 10, 2004 (NY/LA) December 25, 2004
"[Mr. Murray's] performance is a triumph of comic minimalism....[He] turns tiny gestures and sly, off-beat line readings into a deadpan tour-de-force, at once utterly ridiculous and curiously touching." - 12/10/2004 New York Times, p.E1
"An exquisitely evocative movie that elevates rueful melancholia to a superpower..." - 12/10/2004 Los Angeles Times, p.E1
"Many of the atmospheric details are marvelous..." - 12/17/2004 Entertainment Weekly, p.55-6
"Anderson holds steady to the delicate emotions that run beneath this stormy comedy of betrayal, death and forgiveness....[Wilson gives] a sincerely affecting performance." - 12/30/2004 Rolling Stone, p.171
"A movie that's a celebration of both the sea and a certain brand of imaginative exuberance..." - 02/01/2005 Premiere, p.51
"THE LIFE AQUATIC is a micschievous and melancholy thing of wonder....It's daring, different and memorable." - 03/01/2005 Uncut, p.128
Ranked #12 in Uncut's Best Films Of 2005 -- "Wes Anderson here creates a totally bonkers but entirely charming comedy..." - 01/01/2006 Uncut, p.82-83
"Bill Murray plays the Cousteau-like hero, an oceanographer-documentarian who's at once funny, screwy, childish, gallant and rueful, or downright depressed." - 11/13/2009 Wall Street Journal