Following the critical and commercial success of The Royal Tenenbaums, Anderson went for broke with this elaborate fantasia, an epic tale of adventure on the high seas, lensed in a variety of exotic Italian locations.
Bill Murray utilises his patented brand of ennui to magnificent effect as the eponymous Zissou, a past-his-prime Jacques Cousteau-like oceanographer and documentarian on a mission to eliminate the ‘jaguar shark’ that devoured his best friend. Joining his ever-faithful Team Zissou are a journalist (Cate Blanchett) and an airline pilot (Owen Wilson) who might be his son.
The director’s penchant for stylisation goes into overdrive here, from the magnificently realised world of Team Zissou to an ocean filled with eccentric stop-motion beasts created by Coraline director Henry Selick.
Teeming with eccentric detail and ripe performances – who knew Willem Dafoe was hilarious? – this wild ride, as Zissou himself finally realises, is all about the journey.
Showing as part of the OOH LA LA: WATCHING WES ANDERSON season throughout June.