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The Royal Tenenbaums (The Criterion Collection)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Gene Hackman, Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Directors: Wes Anderson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: July 9, 2002
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (865 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000640VJ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,313 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Royal Tenenbaums (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

Commentary By Wes Anderson

Editorial Reviews

Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) and his wife, Etheline (Anjelica Huston), had three children -- Chas, Margot, and Richie -- and then they separated. Chas (Ben Stiller) started buying real estate in his early teens and seemed to have an almost preternatural understanding of international finance. Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow) was a playwright and received a Braverman Grant of $50,000 in the ninth grade. Richie (Luke Wilson) was a junior champion tennis player and won the U.S. Nationals three years in a row. Virtually all memory of the brilliance of the young Tenenbaums was subsequently erased by two decades of betrayal, failure, and disaster. The Criterion Collection is proud to present Wes Anderson's hilarious, touching, and brilliantly stylized study of melancholy and redemption.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 73 people found the following review helpful By roger on March 28, 2005
Format: DVD
Wes Anderson's "The Royal Tenenbaums" exists on a knife edge between comedy and sadness. There are big laughs, and then quiet moments when we're touched. Sometimes we grin at the movie's deadpan audacity. The film doesn't want us to feel just one set of emotions. It's the story of a family who at times could have been created by P.G. Wodehouse, and at other times by John Irving. And it's proof that Anderson and his writing partner, the actor Owen Wilson, have a gift of cockeyed genius.

The Tenenbaums occupy a big house in a kind of dreamy New York. It has enough rooms for each to hide and nurture a personality incompatible with the others. Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman), the patriarch, left home abruptly some years before and has been living in a hotel, on credit, ever since. There was never actually a divorce. His wife Etheline (Anjelica Huston) remains at home with their three children, who were all child prodigies and have grown into adult neurotics. There's Chas (Ben Stiller), who was a financial whiz as a kid; Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow), who was adopted, and won a big prize for writing a school play, and Richie (Luke Wilson), once a tennis champion.

All three come with various partners, children and friends. The most memorable are Raleigh St. Clair (Bill Murray), a bearded intellectual who has been married to Margot for years but does not begin to know her; Eli Cash (Owen Wilson), who lived across the street, became like a member of the family, and writes best-selling Westerns that get terrible reviews; Henry Sherman (Danny Glover), who was Etheline's accountant for 10 years until they suddenly realized they were in love, and such satellites as Pagoda (Kumar Pallana), Royal's faithful servant (who once in India tried to murder Royal and then rescued him from ... himself ...
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100 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Harrison Edwad on May 2, 2002
Format: DVD
... but not in the sense that is usually used. Some people absolutly love his movies, while others really don't care much at all. It's not to say that either side is right or wrong, its just a conflict of interests. Those who don't like Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, or this film, are not in any way inferior/superior to a person like myself, but, those who are smug and almost happy to tell you how bad this movie is... shame on you.
Well, this is easily my favourite film of last year, along with Memento and Waking Life, because of it's rich use of atmosphere. This is a film about lost time, lost childhood, lost chances... really it's about losing those things which are important, and getting them back, and that is the reason that alot of the imagery is, umm.... retro. This is a running theme in all of Anderson's movies, the idea of reclaiming your past by bringing it along with you into the future. All the objects in the movie hold sentimental value to the characters (we never really learn what the particular sentiments are, which is part of the allure of the "sight gag") and gives the characters a past and, more importantly, a neural net of their opinions, beliefs, emotions etc, just by displaying their possessions.
The performances are usually critisized as being highly exagerated- well i hate to break it to you but that's really the whole point of the movie. The Tenenbaum family are eccentrics, the type of family you would latch onto like a satilite because you are attracted to their behavour, and Owen Anderson's character is a representation of the audience in that respect. If this family was what you would call "average", they wouldn't be interesting. Of course alot of movies have the set up of a normal guy in an extraordinary situation, but not every movie has to be that way.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Clare Quilty on April 10, 2002
Format: DVD
I'm a Wes Anderson fan and "The Royal Tenenbaums" was my favorite movie of the year.
(just for a reference, the others were "Hedwig & the Angry Inch," "Ali," "The Man Who Wasn't There," and "Training Day," and Ken Burns "Jazz" and "The Sopranos: Season 3," both of which may have been on TV but are of a scope and caliber far beyond most multiplex efforts)
But "The Royal Tenenbaums" took me a while. It took me two viewings to fully appreciate the "Tenenbaums," and a third to convince me I loved it.
This is a rich movie, full of detail that initially moved too fast for me to absorb. It was only after I was able to watch the film without wondering where it was going and what was going to happen that I was able to sit back and fully appreciate it. There's a lot of quirkiness here, and that gives the whole thing a feeling of insincerity, but this is not an insincere film.
Many critics have pointed out that this movie is like a lot of other things; they mention Dickens, John Irving, Salinger, and Louise Fitzhugh and "The Magnificent Ambersons." And all of those comparisons are true.
But what really struck me about the film, personally, is that so much of it didn't remind me of anything else. The open credit sequence, for example, fills my heart with joy, just the way all the characters are introduced in a stylised yet somehow naturalistic way. You have to love a movie (or at least *I* have to love a movie) in which characters' introductions include their book jackets.
There's also the Gene Hackman aspect. I'm a huge Hackman fan but he works so often and in so many different directions it's sometimes hard to remember what makes him so distinctive. In this movie, it's all on display. He is truly inspired.
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