Royal Tenenbaums

Royal Tenenbaums

4.5 59
Director: Wes Anderson

Cast: Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller


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Director Wes Anderson and his longtime friend and writing partner Owen Wilson follow up Bottle Rocket (1996) and Rushmore (1998) with this similarly offbeat comedy about a dysfunctional family reunion. Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) was a successful attorney who had three children with his wife Etheline (Anjelica Huston), an archaeologist. Each of theSee more details below

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Director Wes Anderson and his longtime friend and writing partner Owen Wilson follow up Bottle Rocket (1996) and Rushmore (1998) with this similarly offbeat comedy about a dysfunctional family reunion. Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) was a successful attorney who had three children with his wife Etheline (Anjelica Huston), an archaeologist. Each of the Tenenbaum kids was a precocious genius: Chas (Ben Stiller) made a killing as a child investor. Richie (Luke Wilson) was a junior tennis champ and three-time U.S. Nationals winner. The adopted Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow) was a playwright who won a 50,000-dollar Braverman Grant in the ninth grade. When Royal abruptly left his family, however, it was the beginning of two decades of betrayal and failure that would scar the Tenenbaums for life. Their past resentments are bitterly held against Royal when he suddenly reappears, claiming to have six weeks to live and a desire to reconnect with his family. Typically, Royal's story is a sham, but his presence and sincere desire for absolution soon have a profound effect on the Tenenbaums, who are each dealing with thwarted desires and relationships. Among them are Richie's lifelong love for Margot, who's unhappily married to Raleigh St.Clair (Bill Murray) and Etheline's eccentric engagement to Henry Sherman (Danny Glover), who wishes to marry her. The Royal Tenenbaums also co-stars Owen Wilson and features narration provided by Alec Baldwin.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
An offbeat, charming, and exceedingly dysfunctional family of overachievers comes to life in The Royal Tenenbaums, director Wes Anderson's follow-up to his delightful Rushmore. Gene Hackman stars as the eponymous patriarch, an irresponsible but lovable rogue who deserts his wife (Anjelica Huston) and three extremely precocious children, only to find them emotionally scarred and embittered when he returns to the fold 20 years later. The cast is a marvel here: Hackman revels as the shamelessly manipulative shyster with a gold-plated heart, while perfect casting frees up Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, and Luke Wilson to deliver nicely understated performances as the grown Tenenbaum children. Adding to this carefully balanced blend of personalities are the likes of Bill Murray, Danny Glover, and scene stealer Owen Wilson (who co-wrote the screenplay). The film's fairy-tale atmosphere is nurtured with a combination of warmth, deadpan humor, and comic-book sensibility. Some characters wear the same costumes throughout (an amusing touch that adds a dash of archetypal resonance), and a brilliant voice-over narration by Alec Baldwin adds to the aura of fantasy. As in Rushmore, music also plays a key role. A mix of perfectly chosen pop songs and an original score by Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh ground the film's exquisitely controlled tone. Yet despite its quirks, Tenenbaums falls squarely in the genre of dysfunctional family dramas typified by films like Terms of Endearment and The World According to Garp. And while it stops short of the more heartrending extremes of those films, Anderson's entry manages to find more than its share of touching moments. The result is a film that seems fresh and yet reassuringly familiar, as lovable for its veneer of eccentricity as it is for the simple human truths revealed beneath.
Barnes & Noble
This year's quirkiest big-studio release has to be Wes Anderson's J. D. Salinger-esque comedy about a family of dysfunctional geniuses. Written by Anderson and his Rushmore coauthor, Owen Wilson, The Royal Tenenbaums received an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay. It also features one of the year's best performances: Gene Hackman as the clan's cheerfully malignant patriarch. Tenenbaumsgets the royal treatment with this delectable DVD, featuring among its many riches numerous "Easter eggs" and a making-of documentary directed by the legendary Albert Maysles.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Naysayers may lament that it's too mannered for its own good, but The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) nevertheless solidifies Wes Anderson's status as an exceptionally gifted filmmaker. Shot on location in New York City, Anderson creates a finely detailed, alternative fairy tale New York that suits co-writers Anderson and Owen Wilson's uniquely gifted and tortured Tenenbaum clan. Though it touches on such dark topics as incest, drug addiction, suicide and death, Anderson and Wilson's wry sincerity turn the story of how the no longer sterling Tenenbaums make peace with the past and present into a meaningful picaresque comedy of subterfuge and resilience. Judiciously framed shots, clean editing and the inspired use of songs by Nico, Paul Simon, The Rolling Stones and The Clash mesh adroitly with the overtly literary storytelling, confirming Anderson's exuberant command of the medium. The stellar cast rises to the occasion, with Gene Hackman and Luke Wilson in particular delivering outstanding performances as the hardly majestic Royal and his Bjorn Borg-ian supernova-turned-burnout son Richie. Though they may be dysfunctional, it's easy to see why hilariously ersatz cowboy neighbor Eli Cash wants so much to be a part of The Royal Tenenbaums' world.
Village Voice - J. Hoberman
Sweet and funny, doggedly oddball if bordering precious, Wes Anderson's third feature presents itself as the adaptation of a non-existent book, checked out of an anachronistic municipal library, and set in an enchanted Manhattan. It's the story of an Upper East Side Salingeresque family living in the memory of their own personal FAO Schwarz.
Washington Post
Chock-full of quotable lines and silly surprises.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert
1/2's proof that Anderson and his writing partner, the actor Owen Wilson, have a gift of cockeyed genius.
San Francisco Chronicle
A film like no other, an epic, depressive comedy, with lots of ironic laughs and a humane and rather sad feeling at its core.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Audio Commentary by Andersen; With the Filmmaker: Portraits by Albert Maysles, featuring Anderson; Interviews with an behind-the-scenes footage of actors Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, and Danny Glover; ; Outtakes ; The Peter Bradley Show, featuring Interviews with additional cast members; Scrapbook featuring young Richie's murals and paintings, still photographs by set photographer James Hamilton, book and magazine covers, and storyboards; ; Studio 360 radio segment on painter Miguel Calderón, along with examples of his work; Trailers; Collectible insert with Eric Anderson's drawings; Plus: An essay by film critic Kent Jones

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gene Hackman Royal Tenenbaum
Anjelica Huston Etheline Tenenbaum
Ben Stiller Chas Tenenbaum
Gwyneth Paltrow Margot Tenenbaum
Luke Wilson Richie Tenenbaum
Owen Wilson Eli Cash
Danny Glover Henry Sherman
Bill Murray Raleigh St. Clair
Seymour Cassel Dusty
Kumar Pallana Pagoda
Alec Baldwin Narrator
Grant Rosenmeyer Ari Tenenbaum
Jonah Meyerson Uzi Tenenbaum
Stephen Lee Sheppard Dudley Heinsbergen

Technical Credits
Wes Anderson Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Barry Mendel Producer
Mark Mothersbaugh Score Composer
Karen Patch Costumes/Costume Designer
Scott Rudin Producer
Dylan Tichenor Editor
David Wasco Production Designer
Owen Wilson Executive Producer,Screenwriter
Robert Yeoman Cinematographer

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