Monday, February 20, 2012

Movie of the Week – The Royal Tenenbaums

This week’s movie is The Royal Tenebaums (2001).

The dramedy is about a family of child prodigies that has grown apart. When their estranged father pretends to have cancer in a veiled attempt to make amends for being an asshole his whole life, the family reunites. It is the third feature film from writer-director Wes Anderson, and it is co-written by Owen Wilson (who also co-wrote Rushmore and Bottle Rocket) – he also has a supporting role. Anderson has the same principal crew from his first two features with composer Mark Mothersbaugh (of Devo), director of photography Robert D. Yeoman and production designer David Wasco. The film has a brilliant cast with Gene Hackman, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, Bill Murray, Danny Glover, Anjelica Huston, and Owen Wilson. Alec Baldwin serves as the narrator. Anderson’s style is at its apex with The Royal Tenenbaums, building off of Rushmore. Every frame has been specifically designed with no detail left unkempt (I love the paintings in Eli’s house, for example). Just from an artistic perspective, the film is marvelous – should you take the time to watch it multiple times paying attention to the background, how the camera moves and how the blocking is staged. Also, how the images flow with the great soundtrack. However, it is also very good from a comedy and drama perspective. The dry witty humor is wonderful, but the drama and characters are even more powerful. It is quite a sad film really. All these characters are damaged, and while there is reconciliation, many are still left with pain. This is a must-see for fans of Anderson’s work. Check out the trailer.

Available on DVD and Streaming

No comments:

Post a Comment