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The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
USA / English
"Family Isn't A Word... It's A Sentence. "
An estranged family of former child prodigies reunites when one of their member announces he has a terminal illness.
Gene Hackman Royal Tenenbaum
Anjelica Huston Etheline Tenenbaum
Ben Stiller Chas Tenenbaum
Gwyneth Paltrow Margot Tenenbaum
Luke Wilson Richie Tenenbaum
Owen Wilson Eli Cash
Bill Murray Raleigh St. Clair
Danny Glover Henry Sherman
Seymour Cassel Dusty
Kumar Pallana Pagoda
Alec Baldwin Narrator (voice)
Grant Rosenmeyer Ari Tenenbaum
Jonah Meyerson Uzi Tenenbaum
Aram Aslanian-Persico Young Chas Tenenbaum
Irene Gorovaia Young Margot Tenenbaum
Director: Wes Anderson
Producer: Wes Anderson,Barry Mendel,Scott Rudin
Writer: Wes Anderson,Owen Wilson
`Different' comedy that uses it's quirks well to produce a wonderful film
Royal and Etheline O'Rielly raised three children to be child prodigies. However years later we find that all the children have fallen on hard times since their father left. Royal Tenebaum hears that his wife has been proposed to by another man and resolves to get involved in his family's life again with the support of his son Richie.

Marketed as a sort of laugh a minute comedy I did feel a little tricked by this. However I never once felt cheated by this. Instead I was quite glad that I had been able to see something that is intelligent, funny, dark and yet totally off the wall. The story is told in story book fashion, with narrator Alec Baldwin talking us through the start of some scenes. The story starts years ago and then jumps to find all the characters messed up. The story is quite straight and downbeat. However the characters are so quirky that you can't help but get involved. Instead of hackneyed messages or points this story lets you decide yourself.

The writing is superb. Instead of clumsy comedy this is clever – full of witty clever dialogue and physical humour that doesn't take away form the story by being silly. The writing manages to keep us involved in a story that could have been far-fetched with characters far too quirky to exist. Anderson also excels in direction – at times it all feels a little too stylised, but for the most part it works well. His soundtrack is different – but is very well used.

There is so much good to say about this that I don't know where to end. The cast is excellent with Hackman being the standout – the only criticism being that some of the actors have little to do, Murray in particular is underused. Even the dread Paltrow is good here. Of course you can't hide talent – and the Wilson brothers shine throughout.

Of course it is very slow and feels a bit stilted at times. The comedy is dark rather than consistently laugh out loud funny, but there is still plenty for the multiplex generation to laugh at. The dark tone also is a little unsettling and some of the characters are hard to get involved with, and some of the symbolism is difficult to get (the whole thing with the bird feels corny and confused).

However these are minor complaints. It's not one of the best films ever made but it's different, funny, clever and thoughtful – that's good enough for me.

Seen it:Nej
Nr of disks/tapes:1
User credit 1:1001 movies you must see before you die
User credit 2:990
Storage device:Divx 5
Imdb rating: 7.5
Musician: Mark Mothersbaugh
Running time: 110 min
Subtitles: Svenska
Everything else:
Last modified: 2008-01-02 11:44:52