Writer/director Wes Anderson has carved out his career as a filmmaker, with odd ball characters and plotlines that often resemble a Nyquil dream. Rushmore is his second solo project and mixes reality with absurdity to perfection, as we delve into Max's world. It is set in an ambiguous time and place, something Anderson prefers, "I do it because the nature of the stories is that they're not topical or timely, and I don't want them to be. I want them to be the kind of stories you can go back to and they won't feel dated" (Phillips,www.avclub.com). Co-written with Owen Wilson, the story is based on their prep school past in Texas and told through the twisted viewpoint that Anderson has made his niche. .
The exclusive Rushmore Academy is where Max Fisher walks the halls, possibly on his way to a meeting of the fencing or beekeepers club. Max isn't what you'd call a typical high school teenager he could be described as a mix of Donald Trump and Jeff Spicoli. Rushmore consumes Max's life he is the founder or chairman of just about every club on campus. He directs the Max Fisher Players to create stage productions that would rival a young Scorsese. The only part of the academy that fails to engage Max is actual schoolwork. His poor academic achievement has secured him membership in a club of one, The Sudden Death Probation Club. Jason Schwartzman has turned his first major movie roll into an all-time classic character. With thick blacked framed glasses and the ever-present Rushmore blazer he fires out ideas like a machine gun and views most rules as optional. Max Fisher is the lifeblood of Rushmore even if he is the only person who realizes it. .
Even as his newest play "Serpico" is a campus-wide hit, Max isn't satisfied and always looking for more. He finds inspiration in the margins of a book on Jacques Costeau, he fights to save Latin at Rushmore, despite the fact he can't stand Latin.