I have just seen The Royal Tenenbaums twice on the trot - The credits had hardly started rolling before I pressed restart!
The Royal Tenenbaums is highly intelligent and a comedy. A comedy though, with a dark and serious side to it – a tragi-comedy. Further it is a film peppered with fabulous one-liners, hilarious situations and attractive aesthetics.
The cast is fantastic; consisting of a selection of geniuses playing geniuses. Must be one of the most talent-dense films ever made! The big star is of course Gene Hackman, as he gets to do what he does best, namely playing the likeable ass-hole. Angelica Huston is so convincing in her role, I am sure she must be just like that in real life, i.e. intelligent, calm and humbly protective. Luke Wilson and Gwyneth Paltrow add true beauty to the set while portraying, in my mind, the two most interesting characters of the Tenenbaum family. Other cast members include Ben Stiller, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson and Danny Glover.
To top it all not only the actors but also the music of the film is very cleverly selected. Tracks include:
These Days - Nico
The Fairest Of The Seasons - Nico
Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard - Paul Simon
Wigwam - Bob Dylan
Look At Me - John Lennon
Lullabye - Emitt Rhodes
Police And Thieves - The Clash
Judy Is A Punk – Ramones
Needle In The Hay - Elliott Smith
Fly - Nick Drake
Stephanie Says - The Velvet Underground
A small selection of quotes to portray the genius of the script:
Royal [after he faked a terminal illness, took residence in the house under false pretenses, tried to instigate a fight with his estranged wife's fiancé, generally lied to his family and was then found out] I know I'm going to be the bad guy here.
Raleigh: [after reading a private investigator's research on Margot background, which includes being adopted, a previous marriage, several one-night stands with other men, and a lesbian affair] So, she smokes.
Eli: [immediately after wrecking his car] Where's my shoe?
Royal: I've always been considered an asshole for about as long as I can remember. That's just my style. But I'd really feel blue if I didn't think you were going to forgive me.
Henry Sherman: I don't think you're an asshole, Royal. I just think you're kind of a son of a bitch.
Royal: Well, I really appreciate that.
Eli: Why would a reviewer make the point of saying someone's *not* a genius? Do you especially think I'm *not* a genius? You didn't even have to think about it, did you?
I am sure it wont be long until my third viewing!
Now, look at this and try and tell me this is this not the grandad you always wanted!?
Royal Tenenbaum, Esq.