Anderson's first commercial success (after his debut Bottle Rocket) is an endearing indie feature about a talented young man, Max Fischer, who seems to excel in all his extra-curricular activities to the demise of his academic grades. Subsequently, Max's life goes awry when his headteacher (played brilliantly by Brian Cox) threatens him with expulsion in the middle of Max's courting efforts to impress a young teacher.
As a regular feature in Anderson's films, the young protagonist is constantly seeking approval from a older man (Bill Muarry as Herman Blume), who happens to be the father of a pair of obnoxious twins at his school, and their best buddy friendship is truly heart-warming and in turns hilarious.
The colourful character arcs, quippish dialogue, unrequited love, quirky outfits and offbeat direction make this quintessential Wes Anderson, and Rushmore falls just shy of The Darjeeling Limited as his best work. A true gem.