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The Royal Tenenbaums

6.9
27,221
Ratings
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Original title
The Royal Tenenbaums
Year
Running time
108 min.
Country
United States United States
Director
Screenwriter
Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson
Music
Mark Mothersbaugh
Cinematography
Robert Yeoman
Cast
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Producer
Touchstone Pictures / American Empirical Pictures
Genre
Comedy. Drama | Comedy-Drama. Family Relationships. Independent Film (US)
Synopsis / Plot
In their youth, the Tenenbaums--an eccentric New York family--were extraordinary. They were all geniuses. Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) was a successful litigator. His wife Etheline (Angelica Huston) raised their children to be ambitious, entrepreneurial, and creative--then published an acclaimed book about her child-rearing techniques. Adopted daughter Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow) was a gifted playwright. Son Chas (Ben Stiller) was a masterful businessman with a taste for real estate. And the other son, Richie (Luke Wilson), was a natural tennis champ. However, when Royal packed up his life and left his wife and his family in a cloud of betrayal, everything fell apart. Twenty years later, the Tenenbaums are a dejected and alienated bunch, each having found that their early successes did not carry over into adulthood. When washed-up Royal learns that his distant wife Etheline, who has become an archaeologist, may remarry, he feigns illness as an excuse to reunite with his estranged family.
From Wes Anderson, director of RUSHMORE, this film is full of quirky comedy that will have audiences reeling and reflecting simultaneously. The brilliant script is impeccable with choppy, intentionally awkward language delivered with dry wit by the well-appointed (almost too good to be true) cast. Dramatic sets are emphasized by the film's masterful orchestration of scene changes and chapter separations. The photography beautifully captures a faded, vintage 1980s New York. And the eclectic soundtrack features much-loved tunes by Nico, The Velvet Underground, The Clash, and the Vince Guaraldi Trio.
Awards
2001: Nominated for Oscar: Best Screenplay (Wes Anderson & Owen Wilson)
2001: Golden Globe: Best Actor Comedy (Gene Hackman)
2001: Nominated for BAFTA Awards: Best Original Screenplay
2002: Berlin Film Festival: Official Selection
2001: Chicago Film Critics Awards: Best Actor (Gene Hackman)
2001: New York Film Critics Circle: Nominated for Best Screenplay
2001: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nominated for Best Original Screenplay
Critics' reviews
  • "Anderson offers no phony uplift for the Tenenbaums or for audiences. But he does know how to take a sad song and make it better. In these troubled times, that's a gift"
  • "You'll laugh, you'll cry -- the year's best movie"
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