The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. 2004. USA. Directed by Wes Anderson. Screenplay by Anderson, Noah Baumbach. With Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett. 35mm. 119 min.
Oceanographer and documentarian Steve Zissou (Bill Murrary) has vowed to take revenge on the mythical jaguar shark that killed his friend. Joining him on this deep-sea voyage are Team Zissou: right-hand man Klaus (Willem Defoe); Ned Plimpton (Owen Wilson), who may or may not be Zissou’s son; pregnant journalist Jane (Cate Blanchett); and Zissou’s estranged wife Elenor (Angelica Huston). A manic homage to French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau in the shape of Moby Dick, The Life Aquatic carries on themes of estrangement and redemption from Anderson’s previous film, The Royal Tenenbaums, but in much wilder form. His most freewheeling movie is set to a sublime mix of synth tunes, by frequent collaborator and Devo frontman Mark Mothersbaugh, and musician Seu Jorge’s Portuguese David Bowie covers.