Max Fischer is a precocious boy at Rushmore school, more adult than some of his teachers (Brian Cox has a small part as the headmaster, and is superb as always). He gets into a spat with Herman Blume (Bill Murray), a local businessman who takes an interest in the school, and who steals his intended girlfriend, Miss Cross, a junior school teacher.

This film is weird, sure. Max Fischer is a chamelonic character and is totally unpredictable. Also, Max isn’t the only adult in a child’s body: his protegee, Dirk Calloway, appears to be even further beyond his years. Like Wes Anderson’s later film, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (in which Bill Murray also stars), there was an undercurrent of a joke I just didn’t get. But unlike that film, this film was funny. Not laugh-out-loud, sure. But I got to the end feeling pleased I’d watched it. The choppiness of the plot doesn’t seem to matter anymore by then, and the knots on the love stories are nicely tied. For a film like this, that’s all one can ask for.

Oh yeah, and it has the best worst pun I’ve heard in some time: