By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Updated February 12, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

When the gem, Rushmore, was released for a week at the end of December — so Bill Murray could qualify, in a just world, for an Oscar nomination — you probably missed it. Now’s the time to make tracks. Wes Anderson’s exuberantly original comedy stars gifted newcomer Jason Schwartzman as Max Fischer, who may be one of the worst students at Rushmore Academy, but who has breathtaking self-confidence and ambitious plans to win the heart of a teacher (Olivia Williams). Murray plays a depressive tycoon and Rushmore benefactor who befriends Max — the bond between dreamers is instant — until the two become romantic competitors for the same pink-cheeked woman. The director treats eccentricity with compassionate respect: no winking, no nudges to even like the boy. The filmmaking, meanwhile, is beautifully disciplined. And the perfectly chosen soundtrack of British Invasion hits further defines Max’s adolescent dislocation. A