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*** Official "THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS" Review Thread

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#1 of 25 OFFLINE   Guy_K


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Posted January 05 2002 - 04:53 PM

I didn't see a thread about the tennenbaums film so I posted one here. What do you think of it? I thought it was one of the best films of the year. The director of the film throws at the audience a great dramedy that will keep you with a smile on your face the whole duration of the film and even the hours afterwords. Highly Recommended

#2 of 25 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted January 05 2002 - 09:04 PM

This thread is now the Official Review Thread for The Royal Tenenbaums. Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues, please post your discussion comments in the Official Discussion Thread for this film which can be found here.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.




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#3 of 25 OFFLINE   Steve Clark

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Posted January 05 2002 - 09:56 PM

I give it 3 (out of four) stars and my wife would only give it two. She doesn't like quirky comedies, what was I thinking? Great performance by Hackman. Solid performances by Paltrow, Huston and Luke Wilson. Murray and Glover were just OK. I am just not a big fan of Stiller and Owen Wilson however. The movie was very dark, which I like, and very humorous at times. My complaint is that the movie simply ran out of gas and seemed to drag about 2/3 of the way through. At that point, the plot was reaching for ways to get the whole family back together again.

#4 of 25 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted January 05 2002 - 10:45 PM

Amazingly quirky stuff that Wes Anderson puts out. There are so many things to snicker and laugh quietly about in this film. The performances from the big cast prove to be very compelling and touching at times required for the small moments that define our relationship with family members. So, if you're a fan of Wes Anderson, you won't be disappointed with this film. I give a grade of B, or 3 stars.
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#5 of 25 OFFLINE   JoeDelan


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Posted January 06 2002 - 03:02 PM

Great Stuff! Great movie, 4 stars(out of 4) in my book. Seeing this movie gave me a new appreciation for Owen Wilson(Co-Writer Credit) and actually forced me to go buy Bottle Rocket on DVD...

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image (out of 4)

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#6 of 25 OFFLINE   Brajesh Upadhyay

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Posted January 06 2002 - 03:08 PM

Wonderfully offbeat film, but not quite as good as "Rushmore". Thinking of "Pagoda" still makes me chuckle Posted Image Solid B+
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#7 of 25 OFFLINE   Bergan Peters

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Posted January 06 2002 - 03:48 PM

Was this movie a comedy even? It had a lot less laughs than Dusk Til Dawn, which is DEFINITELY not considered a comedy. This movie was quirky for the sake of being quirky. It's not an inspiring film, hence all of these 3 sentence reviews. It was obvious and there wasn't any message to be gleaned from watching Posted Image Rushmore and Bottle Rocket were FAR better movies than this, they were inspiring. The Royal Tenenbaums spoonfed it's message of excess corrupting.

#8 of 25 OFFLINE   Mark Palermo

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Posted January 06 2002 - 06:26 PM

Annoying, but begrudgingly admirable. Had Wes Anderson not hyper-cutesified everything (each moment is underlined by the director asking, "Isn't this just SO precious?"), The Royal Tenenbaums could be a winning, understated comedy of pathos. As with the great Rushmore, Anderson and co-writer Owen Wilson deal in the familial unity of the dysfunctional. The Tenenbaums (played by Gene Hackman, Angelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Luke Wilson) are an elite family of neurotics dealing in such screwball antics as inter-sibling infatuation, the breeding of spotted-mice, and the devotion to militant exercise regimes. It's so forcibly quirky, it might as well be British. Little of the endearing qualities that Anderson brought to the Max Fisher character in Rushmore come naturally here. The personalities in Tenenbaums can be fully explained in a phrase or two. At worst (such as Stiller's overprotection of his children after their mother dies), their entire existence is reduced to an insensitive joke. Displaying a charismatic stubbornness as estranged father Royal, only Hackman is vibrant. His wish to reintegrate with his misfit family develops naturally from a desire to a necessity. Anderson's technical direction, with its extremely symmetrical framing is impressive. It's one of several things that keeps The Royal Tenenbaums floating above most current releases. At its centre, though, it's hollow--an exercise in button-pushing from a filmmaker who's capable of more. Rating: B-
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#9 of 25 OFFLINE   Edwin Pereyra

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Posted January 06 2002 - 07:06 PM

The Royal Tenenbaums is one of 2001’s better comedies. It is too haphazard to be taken seriously but as a comedy, it works to a certain extent. However, something can be said about comedies that rely heavily on makeup and a particular type of clothing to accentuate one’s eccentricities – either there is a certain weakness on how some characters and the underlying narrative is written or, there is a lack of confidence on the part of the filmmakers on its actor(s) able to deliver a performance needed to make the eccentricity truly believable. Somehow, The Royal Tenenbaums becomes a product of this.

Having said that, there are still a few things to like about this film such as Gene Hackman’s performance in addition to some true funny moments. The Royal Tenenbaums rates Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image (out of four).

My vote for the best ensemble acting for 2001 still goes to Together.

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#10 of 25 OFFLINE   Alex Spindler

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Posted January 06 2002 - 09:00 PM

Let me weigh in as one who enjoyed this a great deal more than any of you. I had prepared myself when watching this to give it some thought and then a rewatch, which was necessary with both Rushmore and Bottle Rocket before I really grew to like them. I think this was no different for me, and it was only on second viewing that I really enjoyed it (although the first one was pretty enjoyable).

I think it nailed it's multifacted attempt at capturing family - and all of the hope and dysfunction it brings. I think using the exceptional children who are destroyed by their parents and reduced to shells of their former potential helps to make the infulence of family all the more clear. It's quite obvious how Royal's pattern of exclusion, indifference, and near cruelty drove them to the fates they have now. The best part was watching how they react to the man now that he reenters their shattered lives.

I think the comic elements take a back seat to the more serious content in the movie, which is what I would suspect as the reason for these reactions.

I also really enjoyed the shot composition of this movie, which never felt like a retread of Rushmore or Bottle Rocket, but instead like a set of family album photos. These stood in contrast to the more dynamic shots in the chase scenes and in the scenes with Royal, Uzi, and Ari. The color scheme was pretty intense as well.

Heck, I'm giving it Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image, and hope to catch it one more time to see if it should move up or down.

#11 of 25 OFFLINE   TheLongshot



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Posted January 06 2002 - 10:10 PM

The Royal Tenenbaums was pretty good. Gene Hackman was a kick in the pants as the father who doesn't know how to act other than in his own self interest. As the movie progresses, he gradually learns how empty his life is without his family. He makes efforts to win his family back, which isn't easy considering his behavior. There is pain, and there is humor, as there is in real life with situations like this. A friend of mine, who I saw this film with, came from a broken home. While there are sad aspects of his life, which continue to affect him to this day, there is also a lot of stuff he can look back and laugh at. There is sometimes humor in the pain, which this movie was very good at showing. It is how we deal. 8/10 Jason

#12 of 25 OFFLINE   StephenT


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Posted January 07 2002 - 07:47 AM

I loved this film! I hope Wes Anderson continues to make films for a long time to come.

One of the best words I can think of to describe it and certainly its characters is quirky. A family of onetime child geniuses now grown up into misfit adults must come to grips with their father returning. He abandoned them as children, and now he wants back in their good graces. We slowly learn more about this bizarre family through a series of flashbacks as well as their current interactions. It's smart and witty, and the cast is great. In particular Gene Hackman is, as usual, fantastic. Also Bill Murray is once again great in a small, but funny, role.

Rushmore is still my favorite Anderson flick, but I look forward to him continually trying to change my mind.

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image (out of four)

#13 of 25 OFFLINE   Ray Gutnick

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Posted January 07 2002 - 07:15 PM

I have to strongly disagree with the above posts. I found this to be perhaps the worst movie I've seen in a year. Barely watchable, and definitely not funny. The individual actors portray their parts well, but that's about it.

#14 of 25 OFFLINE   chris c

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Posted January 08 2002 - 03:19 PM

Wow, pretty diverse opinions. I'll side with those who really liked it. Not sure I can explain why, just gut reaction. Nice to enjoy Gene Hackman again, after 'The Replacements' and other such drivel. Does this guy really need the money/like to work that much? The only other actor of his calibre that also appears in "bread and butter" type movies is Michael Caine, who seems to always come out unscathed, regardless of how bad the movie is. Anyway, looking forward to adding 'Tenenbaums' to my dvd collection right next to my Criterion 'Rushmore'. I recall someone writing that the movie is better if you realize that it is a Max Fischer production. How true!

#15 of 25 OFFLINE   Bruce Hedtke

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Posted January 09 2002 - 11:18 AM

I liked it. Didn't love it. That's about the extent of my thoughts on it. It dished up some good laughs, some of the visuals were crafted thoughtfully and tension and mood were really well portrayed. But...it just lacked a certain chemistry, a connection to the audience. It was as though Wes Anderson made an inside-joke film that only the cast had any insight to. The audience, while it was entertaining and chock full of interesting scenes, just wasn't able to leap to the next level and really be swept away. It came off as cold and a bit disenfranchising. The parts that really grated were the end of scenes just before the chapter stops. As the movie went along, I kept noticing how they seemed to drag out those scenes. It was as though Anderson had a desired effect in mind and wasn't going to stop the camera until he squeezed every last second out of that scene...no matter how stalled the scene had become. But, Anderson's interpolation of characters was charming and at times, really poignant. Ben Stiller did a great job, as did Hackman and Huston. The biggest misstep was Owen Wilson. He seemed utterly lost throughout the movie, as though he didn't have a clue as to what Anderson wanted him to do with his character. He wandered fairly pointlessly through the film and really dragged some scenes down.

Overall...Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image. Average film.

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#16 of 25 OFFLINE   Tom-G



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Posted January 09 2002 - 08:24 PM

I must be in the minority when it comes to Wes Anderson's films. I didn't care for Rushmore or Bottle Rocket and now I can say the same thing for The Royal Tenenbaums. I say I'm seemingly in the minority because I read and hear a lot of people heaping praise on said films, yet I don't see the humor that is so often extoled by admirers of those films. All of Anderson's films have a quirkiness that doesn't appeal to me. Same thing goes for Royal Tenenbaums. The film is brilliantly acted. It also boasts some beautiful cinematography. The scenes indoors featured a nice mix of pastels and other solid colors that give the film an interesting look. Even the outdoor scenes were a visual treat. I agree with Bruce--this movie seems to be more of an inside-joke film just like Anderson's other efforts. That is probably attributable to each of Anderson's movies being written by the same duo (Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson). The best scenes come from Gene Hackman and also from Ben Stiller. Stiller's neuroses about safety issues were very comedic. Hackman's idea of treating the grandkids was also very comedic. I wish someone could let me in on the jokes of this film. It was strong in the areas of acting and cinematography, but the script failed to capture my interest. If you are a fan of Bottle Rocket and Rushmore, this film is for you. If you are like me and "don't get" Wes Anderson, you would probably be best to skip it. I've been told that there is a rewatch factor to the aforementined films. I've only seen each once, but I don't know if I can force myself through another screening of each.

#17 of 25 OFFLINE   Nate Anderson

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Posted January 09 2002 - 11:41 PM

I'd have to say that the pairing of Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson is one that had produced some of the most interesting movies, both story-wise and visually. I personally enjoyed The Royal Tenenbaums, and I feel that it's their best yet, although Rushmore was really good as well, this one has amazing performances from a wonderfully selected cast. Very, very well done.
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#18 of 25 OFFLINE   PS Nystrom

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Posted January 10 2002 - 03:06 PM

Easily my favorite movie made this year! I 'get' the Anderson/Wilson films and this one seemed liked thier version of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back - a Anderson/Wilson film for Anderson/Wilson fans. If I had to lodge a complaint it would be with Ben Stiller. Now there's an actor whose popularity I don't understand. Pieter If anyone cares: the reason I specifically used the word 'made' in my first sentence is because I have the film The Road Home at the top of my 2001 Top Ten list. It was 'made' in 1997, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't released in American theaters until last summer (at least that's when I first saw it).

#19 of 25 OFFLINE   Francois_Laliberte



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Posted January 13 2002 - 02:09 PM

I agree with everything that Bruce said. It could as well have been my review. I am disappointed a bit by this movie. Maybe it needs to be seen again, like Rushmore which I found just OK the first time I watched it, but then fell in love with it in the following viewings ? I dunno, maybe I was depressed today. It was gray outside, cold, and this movie was depressing and gray.

#20 of 25 OFFLINE   Chuck C

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Posted January 21 2002 - 05:56 PM

I thought it was clever, funny, depressing in a funny way, and original. I like the owen bros. work. That's all I gotta say. 8.5/10

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