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The Royal Tenenbaums (Criterion Collection) (2001)

Cast: Gene Hackman, Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, more...
Director: Wes Anderson, Wes Anderson
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Walt Disney Video
Genre: Independent, SNL Alums, Dysfunctional Families, Criterion Collection
Languages: English
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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. ~ Karl Williams, All Movie Guide

Please note that this disc contains the movie. If you'd like to see the bonus disc, please rent The Royal Tenenbaums: Bonus Disc.

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Episodic black comedy about a similarly dysfunctional family

GreenCine Member Ratings

The Royal Tenenbaums (Criterion Collection) (2001)
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7.28 (2595 votes)
The Royal Tenenbaums (Criterion Collection) (Bonus Disc) (2001)
read reviews    New Listadd to list
7.32 (120 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

the alternative view by thomasadam September 8, 2004 - 1:45 PM PDT
11 out of 12 members found this review helpful
I seem to be the only one, but I think this movie is pretty lame. It is full of overused dysfunctional family movie conventions. I think people get a lot out of this film because the characters are fairly bizarre, they wear great clothes, the set design is totally stunning, and the soundtrack compliments the visuals. But...... THere's more to that in making a movie. I think people are partially fooled into thinking this is a lot better than it is. THe plot is fairly dumb, and the characters, who start out strange, end up sharing a really trite happy ending which doesn't say anything beyond hollywood cliche.
I mean, it's not horrible, but it is just average. Surely there is a part of me that dislikes the film because it is so undeservedly popular, but if you think something is ok, but everyone else thinks it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, don't you start to hate it? Maybe I just have problems, but someone else must feel this as well.

Another Wes Anderson insta-classic by Neutron November 5, 2003 - 4:20 PM PST
3 out of 5 members found this review helpful
There's something about the setting for Royal Tenenbaums that constantly makes the viewer expect one thing and then switches it around giving another. One of the few indie films about "dysfunctional familes" that doesn't completely rely on trite cliches and hackneyed situations. Strong performances are given by the entire cast, even by Gwyneth Paltrow, who I am not normally a fan of. This movie is a very singular vision and everything, down to the paintings on the wall are meticulously selected for a reason. Another amazing soundtrack by Mark Mothersbaugh as well. Check out the bonus disc too for a lot of interesting extras that add to the narrative. Indie cinema at it's best.

Movie good. Extras bad. by MLouv August 27, 2002 - 9:15 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
I will say that The Royal Tenenbaums is one of the most inspiring movies i've ever seen, but the bonus disc doesn't serve it justice. It seems like a second disc was just patched on last minute to try to boost sales. Contained within is a documentary about how Wes Anderson is obsessive/compulsive, a tragically pretentious interview with some one-liner characters from Wes' three movies (they ask the guy who played a paramedic how he prepared for his role) that reads like some bastard offspring of Inside The Actor's Studio, and some short, unsatisfying interviews with the real actors. Justification please?

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