Even among fans of Wes Anderson, his debut film Bottle Rocket (1996) remains relatively unsung, less seen and less acclaimed than the likes of Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Moonrise Kingdom. It lost money and wrong-footed viewers, but over time it found its audience – some of them, anyway. Martin Scorsese, for one, loves it, and so do I.
Bottle Rocket is a sweet, slacker caper film about lifelong friendship and inept crime. It’s a heist film, road movie, and buddy comedy in one. Two of those buddies are Owen Wilson and Luke Wilson, brothers in real life, starring in their first feature film. Luke’s character has a love interest (‘Which part of Mexico are you from?’ ‘Paraguay’), which prompts the following reflection in a letter to his sister:
Note that school has different meanings in different dialects. In UK and Irish English, for example, it refers to education up to and including second-level, or about the age of eighteen. In US English it extends to higher education, as in Wilson’s line here. The Real World English series I wrote for Macmillan Dictionary discussed this difference (PDF).
Did you learn another language in school, or since?
Not really. I took three years of Latin and one year of French in high school, one year of German and half a year of Old French in college, and several years of Hebrew when I was still in grade school. I can’t actually speak any of those languages, although I read French reasonably competently and can puzzle my way through written Italian and Spanish.
That’s a nice mix of Romance languages. I learned French, German, and Irish at school, kept German going at uni (while majoring in life sciences), but seldom use any of them now. French and German have come in handy on the continent, though.