I LOVE this movie
I have a rule: if I netflix a movie more than twice, it's worth buying. I netflixed The Life Aquatic twice, and figured I might as well buy it. I saw the trailers for it when it first came out and it looked really funny. I didn't get round to seeing it in the theater, so home video had to do. I loved it every bit as much as if I had seen it in the theater.
The Life Aquatic is Wes Anderson's latest film foray, and it lacks none of the humor and wit of his earlier films. There are many things to love about this movie: the colorful marine life, the beautiful soundtrack, the humor (which admittedly can be a bit of an acquired taste) and of course, the story. Bill Murray's character is the kind of guy you can love and hate. On the one hand, he was great. He was the Jacques Cousteau of the time in his heydey, but has fallen into disrepute. He is the kind of man who is great on the outside, but is only too human once you look closer. Add to this a colorful crew, an estranged wife and a possibly long-ignored son and you've got quite a mix of characters.
All the parts are played beautifully. Owen Wilson is every bit a gentleman pilot from Kentucky, Angelica Houston couldn't be a better Eleanor if she tried and Willem Dafoe gives a marvelous performance as Klaus. Let's not forget a very pompous Jeff Goldblum as Zissou's nemesis.
Bottom line: I adore this movie. The acting, the script and the cinematography combine to give a wonderful snapshot in the life of a man who had greatness, lost it and is attempting to scrape by with what little he can find. I will say that like all of Wes Anderson's films, The Life Aquatic is not for everyone. He has a certain brand of humor that some would call 'dry.' I prefer to call it 'subtle' but again, it's not for everyone.
My advice is this: if you liked Lost in Translation, Rushmore or The Royal Tenenbaums, you will almost certainly like The Life Aquatic. If you didn't like these films, The Life Aquatic is probably not for you.Read full review