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The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Steve Zissou travels the world aboard  his boat, the Belafonte, making films about the wildlife of the seas. He’s had his heyday but is still driven to carry on in the face of dwindling audiences, poor reviews and patchy funding. The world has moved on and he hasn’t really noticed. On his previous trip, his partner had been killed by an as-yet-undiscovered species of shark. The film is about his journey to catch the shark that killed is partner.

Bill Murray as Steve ZIssouHe is accompanied by his faithful crew, a journalist and a guy who it would seem is his long-lost son. Steve Zissou is having problems with his wife and his agent and a rival filmaker. In some way or other everyone in the film seems to depend on Zissou for something, but they all depend on the successful, mythical Zissou of yore. Despite the responsibilities piled on him by the needs of others Zissou carries on regardless, fighting off pirates and pulling off his goal. He’s fairly mercenary with his feelings except for those stirred up by the appearance of the guy claiming to be his son, for whom his judgement clouds.

This is a very stylish film and it is a hilarious film. It confirmed for me the greatness of Bill Murray. Mainly, I found it to be a very touching film. Especially the scene where he’s in his submersible with everyone else in the film and they all lean forward to lay their hands on his shoulders. I like to think there are a number of people in my life who’d do the same for me when things get tough.

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