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Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The (2004)

Original Title : The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Director : Wes Anderson
Writer : Wes Anderson
Noah Baumbach
Genre : Comedy
Adventure/Drama
Country : USA
Language : English
Producer : Wes Anderson , Dan Beers , Barry Mendel , Scott Rudin , Rudd Simmons , Enzo Sisti
Music : Ennio Morricone
Mark Mothersbaugh
Scott Walker
Photography : Stefano Falivene
Robert D. Yeoman
Distributor : Buena Vista Pictures
MPAA Rating : Rated R for language, some drug use, violence and partial nudity.
IMDB ID : 0362270
Official site : http://www.lifeaquatic.com
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poster for "Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The" by Wes Anderson (2004)
Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The (2004) - Wes Anderson
 

Starring

Bill Murray Steve Zissou
Owen Wilson Ned Plimpton
Cate Blanchett Jane Winslett-Richardson
Anjelica Huston Eleanor Zissou
Willem Dafoe Klaus Daimler
Jeff Goldblum Alistair Hennessey
Michael Gambon Oseary Drakoulias
Noah Taylor Vladimir Wolodarsky
Bud Cort Bill Ubell
Seu Jorge Pelé dos Santos
Robyn Cohen Anne-Marie Sakowitz
Waris Ahluwalia Vikram Ray
Niels Koizumi Bobby Ogata
Pawel Wdowczak Renzo Pietro
Matthew Gray Gubler Intern
Seymour Cassel Esteban du Plantier
Antonio Monda Festival Director
Isabella Blow Antonia Cook
James Hamilton Festival Photographer
Melanie Gerren Mandeeza
Nazzareno Piana Elderly Man (as Nazzareno 'Neno' Piana
Rudd Simmons Man in Yellow Shirt
Leonardo Giovannelli Werner
Henry S.F. Cooper Jr. Talk Show Host
Pietro Ragusa Academic
Eric Chase Anderson Air Kentucky Pilot
Robert Wilson Air Kentucky Pilot
Don McKinnon Air Kentucky Pilot
Alessio Santini University of Alaska Intern
Paolo Sirignani University of Alaska Intern
Andrew Weisell University of Alaska Intern
Niccolò Senni University of Alaska Intern
Andrea Guerra University of Alaska Intern
Christiano Irrera University of Alaska Intern
Vincenzo Recchia University of Alaska Intern
Marco Ciarlitto University of Alaska Intern
Tony Schafrazi Larry Amin (as Tony Shafrazi
Noah Baumbach Phillip
Stefano Maria Ortolani Italian Man in Audience
Sylvie Genin French Woman in Audience
Jacques Henri Lartigue Lord Mandrake (as Jacques-Henri Lartigue
Muzius Gordon Dietzmann Javier
Gangyuan Xu Cedric
Robin Scott Hugo
Guglielmo Casciaro Carl
Alessandro De Angelis Hennessey Sailor
Andrea Bertone Hennessey Sailor
Andriy Kachur Hennessey Sailor
Roberto Salvi Hennessey Sailor
Stefano Masciolini Hennessey Sailor
Robert Sommer Party Guest
Anna Orso Party Guest
Ettore Conti Party Guest
Robert Graham Party Guest
Al Yamanouchi Chief Pirate (as Hal Yamanouchi
Conrado Mendoza Dolor Pirate
Eduardo Bautista Grantuza Pirate
Simeon Maragigak Agelion Pirate
Walter Cajapao Casapao Pirate
Honorato Ilao Reyes Pirate
Roderick Magbay Pirate
Demetreo Castillo Pirate
Thomas Carwgal de la Peña Pirate
Edwarren Bantungon Pirate
Levi Mickael de Ramon Pirate
Aries Corales Pirate
Aries Dolor Ilagon Pirate
Joseph de los Reyes Pirate
Dennis Rayos Martinez Pirate
Taiyo Yamanouchi Pirate (as Tatyo Yamanouchi
Wai Tung Wong Pirate
Ging Fang Zhu Pirate
Francis Dokyi Water Taxi Driver
Begni Bok Dong Young Ogata
Daniel Acon Former Team Zissou, Antarctica
Alexander Hamilton Former Team Zissou, Antarctica
Leica Cody
 

Plot

Steve Zissou, sea-film auteur a la Jacques Cousteau, has reason to be melancholy: his partner has been eaten, perhaps by a mythic jaguar shark, his wife may be taking up with her ex-husband, a young man appears claiming Steve is his father (Steve hates fathers), his most recent films have tanked, he's having trouble raising money for his venture to revenge his partner, and he's attracted to a pregnant reporter who prefers the pretender. At sea, in pursuit of the shark, will he escape pirates and mutiny, forge the bonds of fatherhood, place his arm around his wife, find the monster of the deep, re-establish box office hegemony, and discover a reason to smile?
 

Comments

"Life Aquatic" may not be as cuddly as his other productions, but it still resonates loudly with grace, joy and originality. It's a remarkable piece of film-making..., 22 December 2004 Author: the unemployed critic The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou A formerly famous oceanographer fallen on hard times, Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) has hit rock bottom. Sensing revenge on a mysterious shark that took the life of his best friend will redeem his soul, Steve and Team Zissou hit the seas (on his ship,"The Belafonte"), with a reporter (Cate Blanchett) tagging along, a rival (Jeff Goldblum) around every corner, and a man named Ned (Owen Wilson) who may or may not be Steve's long lost son."Life Aquatic" is writer/director Wes Anderson's fourth film ("Bottle Rocket," "Rushmore"), and while it isn't his absolute best, the picture is a potent reminder just how imaginative and striking an artist he is. What makes "Aquatic" stand out from the rest of his lovely, flawless filmography is the epic scale of the production. Working with his biggest budget to date, Anderson has become very ambitious with his ideas this time around, yet still working with his established idiosyncratic material, and scoring another exhilarating success along the way. With "Aquatic," Anderson officially graduates to the status of classic filmmaker.Anderson's films have the potential to be polarizing, and "Aquatic" might be the perfect example of an either you-love-it-or-hate-it-it type of experience. "Aquatic" is vividly grounded in the aqua blue retro atmosphere of when Jacques Cousteau was in his prime. Anderson captures that low-tech, 16-millimeter, adventure-seeking mood brilliantly, fencing in a heightened reality right away so he can get away with some tricky drama later. The legendary Anderson attention to detail remains in full force for the picture, gorgeously photographed by Bob Yeoman, and featuring stunning art direction by Stefano Maria Ortolani, who recreates the interior of the Belafonte on a huge set, as if the boat were a gigantic ant farm that Team Zissou has burrowed into. "Aquatic" is a dazzling film, exquisite in every corner, and it captures the very essence of high seas adventure while still remaining an Andersonesque eccentric comedy. "Aquatic" is a masterpiece of poker faced tone and innovative visual design.Narratively, "Aquatic" is built sturdily enough to weather some rough seas. His last film, "The Royal Tenenbaums," managed to include a sequence of attempted suicide and didn't completely derail, which demonstrated that Anderson could supervise some hefty tonal changes with grace. "Aquatic" is full of these changes, showing characters often bickering, and then loving again quickly, and in some cases flat-out dying, which might take some audiences off guard. But nothing seems to upset the film's even flow, which is impressive and also relieving. Anderson and co-writer Noah Baumbach spin this yarn in many peculiar ways, including marvelous sequences in which Team Zissou encounters a ship of heavily armed pirates, or Steve's testy appearances at an Italian film festival that showcase his films. Even with all the strange tangents the film takes, the main journey of a weathered Steve chasing glory again is never too far out of reach to blur focus, and neither do the writers pass up any type of uproarious joke involving jealous German shipmate Klaus (a scene stealing Willem Dafoe).Also worth noting is the spare, but vital score by Anderson regular Mark Mothersbaugh. Mimicking the thin beats of the Team Zissou composer, Wolodarsky (Noah Taylor), Mothersbaugh's score soaks the "Life Aquatic" scenes with just the right documentary film thrust. Couple that with Anderson's sense for legendary needle drops (the man has an astonishingly good ear) and this movie's particular fetish for David Bowie, and here's another sonically ideal movie from the filmmaker.The performances are just as impressive. Anderson has this rare ability to make the absurd not so absurd, and his love for the characters is contagious. "Aquatic" features an ensemble cast (Anjelica Houston, Bud Cort, and Michael Gambon also appear), and they repeatedly resemble a group of young boys playing in the backyard around a pool, yet none of it looks silly, as much as some moments of the film can get. Bill Murray is the true emotional anchor for the story, and Anderson asks to see the rainbow inside him. We get the whole range of Murray here, including priceless Murray-perfect sarcasm toward the hapless interns on the Belafonte. I'd pay to see that alone.Well it's official: going to a Wes Anderson film has become a certified treat. "Life Aquatic" may not be as cuddly as his other productions, but it still resonates loudly with grace, joy and originality. It's a remarkable piece of film-making. ---- 10/10
 
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Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The (2004) - Wes Anderson
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Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The (2004) - Wes Anderson
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