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The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

With a plan to exact revenge on a mythical shark that killed his partner, oceanographer Steve Zissou rallies a crew that includes his estranged wife, a journalist, and a man who may or may not be his son.

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3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Niels Koizumi ...
Pawel Wdowczak ...
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Intern #1
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Storyline

When his partner is killed by the mysterious and possibly nonexistent Jaguar Shark, Steve Zissou and his Team Zissou crew set off for an expedition to hunt down the creature. Along with his estranged wife, a beautiful journalist and a co-pilot who could possibly be Zissou's son, the crew set off for one wild expedition. Written by FilmFanUK

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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The deeper you go, the weirder life gets


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some drug use, violence and partial nudity | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

25 December 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Life Aquatic  »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$113,085 (USA) (10 December 2004)

Gross:

$24,006,726 (USA) (25 February 2005)
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Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Wes Anderson's earlier film, Rushmore (1998), there is a shot of Max Fisher on his go-kart which is a direct homage to a Jacques Henri Lartigue photograph. The man in this photo, as well as others taken by Lartigue is named Zissou. See more »

Goofs

When Steve pulls his gun on Jane during the interview, there is an audible thud as if he'd pulled the gun and then lowered it to touch the table, however when the shot changes to face him, he is holding the gun well above the table's surface. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[in Italian]
Festival Director: Ladies and gentlemen, we are very pleased to welcome you to the world premiere of Part 1 of the newest film from a great favorite of ours here at Loquasto, Mr. Steve Zissou. A brief Q & A will immediately follow the screening. Thank you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In memory of Jacques-Yves Cousteau and with gratitude to the Cousteau Society, which was not involved in the making of this film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fakstage (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

City Lights
from Boney
Written and Performed by Sven Libaek
Courtesy of Fauna Productions Pty Ltd
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User Reviews

 
A Beautiful Modern Fantasy
27 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Life Aquatic" is most certainly an unusual film. It's something of a collage of colorful imagery, fragmented shots, quirky music, strange characters, bizarre situations, and amusing montages. But if one had seen Wes Anderson's previous films, one would expect nothing less.

It can't really be helped that there be a certain amount of hype around Anderson's name, after all, his films "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums" both generated vast critical acclaim and three of this young director's four films have already received the Criterion DVD treatment. Is the buzz warranted? I say, absolutely. Anderson has created some of the most vibrant, vivid, unique, and off-beat films of the last decade, and "The Life Aquatic" is no exception.

The film follows Steve Zissou (Murray), a formerly glorious oceanographer whose latest documentary, which is about his closest friend and colleague, Esteban, being eaten by a "Jaguar Shark", receives a less-than-glorious reception. Steve then announces he plans to set out on a voyage to film part two of his documentary, which will follow him and his crew as they attempt to track down the alleged "Jaguar Shark". Along for the ride is Ned (Wilson), someone who may or may not be Steve's son; Jane (Blanchett), an up-and-coming journalist doing a story on Zissou; Klaus (Dafoe), the eccentric German first mate; a Portugese, David Bowie-covering weapons expert; a no-nonsense tech expert; a usually semi-nude female crew-member; a band of unpaid interns; and several other quirky personalities. Other characters include Zissou's estranged wife, Eleanor (Huston), and her former husband, Alistair Hennessey (Goldblum). On the journey, the crew encounters money problems, relationship issues, and...pirates.

The film takes place in a vivid world that is somewhat inside Steve's head. A colorful world where the creatures are claymation and where Steve can single-handedly ward off kidnapping, gun-wielding pirates to beat of The Stooges' "Search and Destroy".

I do warn you though, if you are not a fan of dry humor, this one's most likely not for you. The movie's loaded with it, in all of its off-beat, tongue-in-cheek anti-glory.

There are some wonderful acting performances throughout, including an exuberant Bill Murray, who just loses himself in the character of Zissou, a subdued Anjelica Huston, whose subtle sly grins and deadpan delivery develop her character far more than anything else, and a spirited Willem Dafoe, who manages to make a German accent sound funnier than I ever imagined it could.

If you enjoyed "Rushmore", "The Royal Tenenbaums", "Punch-Drunk Love", or "I Heart Huckabees", then you most certainly should not let this charming, oddly beautiful little film pass beneath your radar.

9.5/10


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