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Rude Awakening: American Comedy, 1990–2010

Saturday, August 30, 2014
8:50 p.m. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Wes Anderson (U.S., 2004)

Would Jacques Cousteau be gulping for air? Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) is an oddball oceanographer assembling a crew for his next exploit, a film about the dread “jaguar shark,” the very one that chomped his pelagic partner. This aquatic predator may not be toothsome, or even real, but it’s Zissou’s own personal Moby nonetheless. Off goes Zissou’s ship-of-fools with long-lost son Ned (Owen Wilson) and crew, along with the ever-mellifluous Seu Jorge, who punctuates the proceedings by singing David Bowie songs in Portuguese. This zany cargo is all too precious, but it’s Wes Anderson, so drop anchor and wade in.

—Steve Seid

• Written by Anderson, Noah Baumbach. Photographed by Robert Yeoman. With Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Willem Defoe. (118 mins, Color, 35mm, From Swank Motion Pictures)