The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

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Wes Anderson’s wonderfully odd underwater adventure tells the tale of an obsessive oceanographer and undersea documentarian seeking revenge on the shark that ate his partner. In The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, internationally renowned oceanographer Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) and his crew – Team Zissou – set sail on an expedition to hunt down the mysterious, elusive, possibly nonexistent “jaguar shark” that killed Zissou’s partner during the filming of their latest documentary adventure. A spandex-clad combination of Jacques Cousteau and Captain Ahab, the highly unorthodox Zissou naturally plans to film his underwater revenge, and he is joined on his perilous and frequently ridiculous journey by a very motley crew, which includes a young airline co-pilot, who may or may not be Zissou’s son (Owen Wilson), a beautiful journalist (Cate Blanchett) assigned to write a profile of Zissou, his estranged wife and co-producer, Eleanor (Anjelica Huston), her ex-husband (Jeff Goldblum), a salty seaman (Willem Defoe), a film producer (Michael Gambon) and an accountant (Bud Cort). Along the way, Team Zissou faces overwhelming dangers, including pirates, kidnapping and bankruptcy. Co-written by filmmaker Noah Baumbach, The Life Aquatic is a wildly original comedy with a melancholy edge, propelled by an offbeat soundtrack filled with bossa nova-flavored versions of David Bowie songs performed in Portuguese by musician/actor Seu Jorge. (Dir. by Wes Anderson, 2004, USA, 119 mins., Rated R) 35mm