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The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Preview



Preview by: Jack Foley

HAVING wowed cinema-goers with films such as Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, it's little wonder that the buzz is building around Wes Anderson's next film, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

However, it's worth noting from the outset that the forthcoming venture marks something of a departure for Anderson, in that it's the first time the writer-director has not co-written the script with his writing partner, Owen Wilson.

Instead, Noah Baumbach stepped in, even though the film, itself, co-stars Wilson, as well as another long-time collaborator, Bill Murray (who shone in Rushmore and contributed a telling cameo to the Tenenbaums).

It also gifts Murray his first leading role for Anderson, which in itself should be plenty of reason to see it when it surfaces next February.

The project centres around the eponymous Steve Zissou (Murray), a Jacques Cousteau-style oceanographer, who is struggling to finish his latest epic, The Life Aquatic, while also struggling to cope with the antics of his estranged son (Wilson).

 

Lending support at various points is another stellar ensemble cast, including Angelica Huston, as his unsatisfied wife; Jeff Goldlbum, as a rival oceanographer; Willem Dafoe, as a loyal crew-mate; and Cate Blanchett, as a reporter profiling the work of Zissou.

It all makes for mouthwatering stuff, particularly as the project is described as the most ambitious project for Anderson yet.

Producer, Barry Mendel, claims that the director's style has evolved into something 'increasingly controlled and precise', even though he attempted to forget everything he had learned about the film-making process so far, and be more instinctice.

It's also been described - and this is the best bit - as 'the Bill Murray movie they have been waiting for'.

Adds Mendel, in an interview with Empire magazine: "Bill is incredibly sympathetic in this film, but we test that because some of his behaviour is questionable."

Having been over-looked for his superlative turn in Lost in Translation at the 2004 Oscars, who would bet against The Life Aquatic offering Murray another shot at the trophy in 2005.

The film is scheduled for a February 18 release in the UK.

 

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