Movie of the Week: The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)


Wes Anderson directs Gene Hackman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Owen Wilson in this stylised comedy drama about a family of child geniuses who are now damaged adults and their distant, gruff patriarch who fakes cancer to reconnect with them / not divorce their mother. 

A perfect film (though not quite as out and out fun as its predecessor Rushmore) that is intricately assembled in look, emotion, humour and detail with a watchmaker’s precision. A very stylish watchmaker. Anderson got caught in the trap of trying to repeat too closely what worked here a little too often afterwards but that does not diminish the calvalcade of fine movie moments this marches at us. So much to love: Alec Baldwin’s Barry Lyndon inspired narration, the vinyl celebration of a soundtrack, a toweringly charming beast of a central performance from Hackman, the sole decent turn from Paltrow in her career, or the deeply cutting moments that resonate, hidden among the twee visuals and soft antics. Movie heaven.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.