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The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

I know it's been, like, a week since we actually sat down and watched The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, but I haven't really had the time until now to discuss my feelings on it. Not to mention the fact that I'm not entirely sure exactly what my feelings about it are.

I'm still not sure if I liked the movie or not.

While I was thoroughly disappointed by the way things ended, at the same time, I suppose to have things turn out differently would have been one of those fake Hollywood happy endings that everyone (except me) hates. The Boyfriend didn't really like it, because he thought the whole film was too "weird." Personally, the deliberate weirdness is what I particularly enjoy about Wes Anderson films. I love the bizarre flashbacks, strangly constructed sets, and absurdist plots. In fact, had it not been for the sad ending, I think I would have really loved it--not as much as Royal Tennenbaums, obviously, but quite a bit. The way the ship set was built--Anderson intentionally made it seem more like a huge diarama of a ship. It was almost as though he was presenting the whole film as a staged play, a reversal of what he did in Rushmore (within which films were presented as stage plays.) Another interesting decision from Anderson involved the soundtrack. Although there were the expected small instrumental interludes, the use of the Portuguese(?) acoustic versions of Bowie songs was unexpected. I found myself trying to figure out what their purpose and function was (not to mention trying to figure out which particular song was being played at any given time.) I'm not sure I like that particular musical choice, but at least it was something different. I thought that the characters, though totally ridiculous, were also extremely distinct. The performances from Billy Murray, Angelica Huston, and Cate Blanchet were in my opinion spot on. As much as I adore Owen Wilson, I don't know that I necessarily bought the relationship between he and Murray entirely. Wilson's character seemed almost too sweet through most of the film, though I suppose in the end that's what makes the ending effect me the way it did. So I guess what I'm saying is: if you enjoy the Wes Anderson oevre (yay! I managed to work in the word "oevre"! I only hope I've spelled it correctly)--more so Tennenbaums than Rushmore or Bottle Rockets, then you might enjoy it. I'm not saying that fans of Rushmore WON'T enjoy it, I'm just saying I think it probably appeals more to the more delicate sense of whimsy displayed in Tennenbaums. So if that's your bag, you might like it. If not, I'd recommend just going ahead and skipping it.

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