‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’: How to Watch the Bill Murray Film

Director Wes Anderson broke through in 1998 with Rushmore, his second feature film that starred Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray. After an even bigger hit with The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Anderson again tapped Murray as the lead in 2004’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

Life Aquatic, which Anderson and his crew shot in Rome’s fabled Cinecitta studios, was the director’s biggest-budget film to that point ($50 million, according to Variety). Though it didn’t land at the box office, Life Aquatic remains one of the director’s signature films.

Murray’s performance as Zissou has a lot to do with that. But Life Aquatic also helped build the Anderson legend with respect to the costumes and soundtrack. In 2021, audiences can find the film for rental online and via streaming services. Otherwise, a library loan is your best bet.

‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’ is available for rent or library loan in ’21

Bill Murray in a hat at the premiere of 'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou'
Bill Murray during “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” premiere at Ziegfield Theater | Gregory Pace/FilmMagic

Though it may seem like a new streaming service pops up every week, you won’t find one featuring The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou at the close of February ’21. However, the film is available for rent on all the major streaming platforms.

Amazon Prime, YouTube, Apple TV+, and Google Play Movies all feature HD rentals of The Life Aquatic for $3.99. The budget option is iTunes, which rents the film for $2.99. While you might expect The Criterion Channel to run this one, that isn’t currently the case.

If you are still operating a DVD player at home, there’s a good chance you can find The Life Aquatic on loan for free at your local library. The film came out near the peak of the golden age for DVDs, and (judging by my local branch) libraries appeared to stock up on this title.

For those who want to make a hard copy a part of your permanent collection, the Criterion Collection Blu-Ray would be the way to go. And, by the way, used DVDs are awfully affordable these days.

The ‘Life Aquatic’ soundtrack did not include all of the film’s music

Closeup of 'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou' film poster
‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’ theatrical poster | Jim Spellman/WireImage

Even the critics who disliked The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou can’t deny Anderson put together an excellent soundtrack for his film. In addition to David Bowie classics “Life on Mars?” and “Queen B*tch,” Brazilian performer appeared on film at several points singing Portuguese versions of Bowie tracks.

On the soundtrack, you can hear both Seu Jorge also do “Life on Mars?” in addition to “Rebel Rebel,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide,” “Five Years,” and “Space Oddity” (all by Bowie). But the soundtrack doesn’t have all of Seu Jorge’s film performances on it.

To find the complete Seu Jorge Life Aquatic performances, fans have to turn to the Criterion Collection release. Among the slate of extras, you’ll find a special feature of Seu Jorge doing his Bowie interpretations.

Or you could turn to The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions Featuring Seu Jorge (2005) for the maximum Seu Jorge doing Bowie songs — plus an original titled “Team Zissou.”