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Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, The

Director(s): Wes Anderson

Theatrical Release: 2004

Cast: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston

Genre(s): Comedy, Criterion Collection

Countries: USA

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Ant Rating
Running Time: 118m.

The first effort from director Wes Anderson since his critically beloved The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou finds the filmmaker re-teaming with a number of familiar faces, including Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Anjelica Huston, and Seymour Cassel. Murray plays Steve Zissou, an eccentric and renowned oceanographer who has decided to seek out and enact mortal revenge on a shark that ate one of the men on his team. Along for the ride is Ned Plimpton (Owen Wilson), a young man who has joined Zissou's crew after showing up claiming to be the seaman's long-lost son and Zissou's co-producer (and estranged wife), Eleanor Angelica Huston. As the expedition ensues, the two bond and Plimpton falls for a female journalist (Cate Blanchett) who is writing a piece on Zissou. The crew meets a host of obstacles on their journey, including pirates, kidnapping, and bankruptcy. Adding a flair of whimsy to the film's aesthetic, the sea creatures and underwater scenes in the film have been created using stop-motion animation under the direction of Henry Selick, the man behind The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach. The ensemble cast also includes Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Gambon, Noah Taylor, and Bud Cort. — Matthew Tobey (


Criterion Collection DVD #300 Single-Disc Special Features:

+ New high-definition digital transfer, approved by director Wes Anderson and enhanced for widescreen televisions

+ Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 soundtracks

+ Commentary by Wes Anderson and co-writer Noah Baumbach

+ Ten deleted scenes

+ “Starz on the Set”: behind-the-scenes featurette

+ Theatrical trailer

+ English, French, and Spanish subtitles enhanced for the deaf and hearing impaired

+ Reversible cover and menus featuring Eric Anderson’s original illustrations