Cinema: Class Clowns

A delightfully droll comedy that delights in itself a little too much

We tend to forget a couple of things about nerds. One is that despite their inability to dress for success, chat up girls or win the big homecoming game, they are often enviably--maddeningly--smart. The other is that their obsessiveness need not be confined to computer hacking. It can embrace--to take the convenient example of Max Fischer--fencing, beekeeping, astronomy, the dramatic arts and, alas, age-inappropriate lust.

Max, who is played with a sort of eerie solipsism by Jason Schwartzman, is the wearying scourge of Rushmore, a slightly tacky private school, and the ambiguous glory of Rushmore, a movie that Wes Anderson...

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