The Royal TenenbaumsDecember 14, 2001
An estranged family of former child prodigies reunites when one of their member announces he has a terminal illness.
Release Year: 2001
Rating: 7.6/10 (105,505 voted)
Critic's Score: 75/100
Stars: Gene Hackman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anjelica Huston
Three grown prodigies, all with a unique genius of some kind, and their mother are staying at the family household. Their father, Royal had left them long ago, and comes back to make things right with his family.
Writers: Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson
Raleigh St. Clair
Young Chas Tenenbaum
Young Margot Tenenbaum
Family Isn't A Word… It's A Sentence.
Release Date: 14 December 2001
Filming Locations: 144th Street & Convent Avenue, Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $276,981
(16 December 2001)
Did You Know?
Danny Glover's look in the film was modeled after UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. This was Wes Anderson's idea, after Glover, who knows Annan personally, introduced Anderson to him at a UN event.
Royal's cigarette jumps from his hand to the ashtray repeatedly when he is having a conference with his three children.
Royal Tenenbaum bought the house on Archer Avenue in the winter of his 35th year. Over the next decade, he and his wife had three children, and then they separated.
The perfect balance of drama and comedy
I loved this film.
The Tenenbaum's dysfunction (while amplified for the screen) is quite
an accurate portrayal of family life. Families are, essentially, groups
of people living in each other's pockets, and, invariably, those people
who love you and hate you the most.
Don't get me wrong, Royal and his (thermo)nuclear family of brilliant
buffoons do not represent my family (or any other in the world I
think!) but the family united against a miscreant father is a motif a
lot of people can understand. It is this common humanity that really
appeals to me as a film watcher, and what, ultimately made this film so
very memorable to me.
The ensemble cast is astonishingly proficient. They all lend a perfect
quirkiness to the roles. Anjelica Houston is the perfect former Mrs
Royal Tenenbaum, down to the smallest nuance, Ben Stiller and Luke
Wilson turn in wonderful performances, and this is the only role I've
seen Gwenyth Paltrow in where I actually thought she was someone other
than Gwenyth Paltrow (this is not an insult, it's just that people
don't always do it for everyone, you know…?). Bill Murray, Gene
Hackman, Owen Wilson, all excellent, all the time.
The black comedy counterbalanced with the drama of the issues raised in
this film left me feeling like I'd witnessed a film event, rather than
just another film. I loved every frame of it, from the Baldwin narrated
opening, to the final tying up of ends. It never dwelled on melodrama,
or the more potentially unsavoury elements, and it didn't sink into the
schmaltzy "We all love each other" end it could well have. It began
perfectly, and it ended perfectly.
I can't recommend this movie more highly. It's a must see for anyone
who loves quirky and emotive storytelling, great characters and