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The Royal Tenenbaums

(Rated MA15+)

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"I always wanted to be a Tenenbaum"

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Gene Hackman plays Royal Tenenbaum, a charismatic yet self-centered divorcée whose three gifted offspring were successful prodigies as children before succumbing to eccentricity, neuroses and depression. Wait, this is a comedy? Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Luke Wilson bring the three wounded adult Tenenbaums to sympathetic life with deadpan humour and a remarkably clever script. When Royal has to move out of the hotel where he has been living, he devises a plan to steal his ex-wife Etheline (Anjelica Huston) away from her current suitor (Danny Glover) by faking terminal illness. Honestly it’s a comedy — and it’s really, really funny.

Why You Should See This Film

Though his first two features (Bottle Rocket and Rushmore) had a distinct visual style and some playful characterisations, Wes Anderson’s obsession with art direction and stylised storytelling really comes to the fore in Tenenbaums, proving him to be one of the few modern day auteurs (a title even his detractors will begrudgingly admit). Gene Hackman is wonderful as Royal Tenenbaum and Alec Baldwin’s narration is surprisingly fitting. Too soon to call it a modern classic? We think not.

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  • Year: 2001
  • Rating: MA15+
  • Director: Wes Anderson
  • Cast: Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Duration: 110 minutes
  • Language: English
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