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‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

Stars: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Anjelica Huston | Written by Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach | Directed by Wes Anderson

“This is an adventure.” That’s the last spoken line of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, the fourth feature from everyone’s favourite Texan oddball, Wes Anderson. Released in 2004, three years after the highly acclaimed The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic was easily Anderson’s highest-budget film up to that point, and it was met with indifference both critically and commercially. I’ve always found this unusual because I regard it not only as Anderson’s best film, but also the most quintessentially Andersonian.

Zissou (Bill Murray) himself is clearly modelled on the naval explorer and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau, right down to the red bobble hat. The film opens with the death of Steve’s lifelong friend, Esteban (Seymour Cassel), in the jaws of a jaguar shark.

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