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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 (883 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000640VJ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,246 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

72 of 78 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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101 of 115 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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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michael Fitzgerald on May 13, 2002
Format: DVD
16 pages of Amazon reviews relating to The Royal Tenenbaums ranging from hatred to awe suggests something interesting is going on with this one of a kind movie.
After seeing the movie more than a month ago, I started recounting some of the more emotional moments in the film as I sat with my wife in a shopping mall eating a souvlaki. I actually found that I was getting choked up just describing the moments and my wife looked blankly at me.
"Is this a mid-life crisis or something?"
She liked the film, but couldn't believe that it had emotionally effected me to the extent that it had.
"This has probably got something to do with your family, you know."
Possibly. But it might also have something to do with a film which on the surface seems to present an artificial and childlike story about an unusual family but underneath captured some illuminating truths about the human condition.
I obviously liked the film because I gave it 5 stars and l am looking forward to spending the rest of my life trying to figure out why.
I can understand why many people disliked it so much but I am fascinated with the concept that I have little idea why I love it.
The Royal Tenenbaums is the reason that I go to the movies. I want to be surprised and engaged in a fictional world where I am taken to a place that I have never been before. And there is no place like the Royal Tenenbaum's.
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43 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 28, 2002
Format: DVD
I loved this film, but I can completely understand many, many people not enjoying it. In fact, I was one of the few people, it seems, who disliked Anderson's second film, RUSHMORE (though I loved BOTTLE ROCKET, Wes Anderson's first film). The reason that so many will either love or hate this film is Anderson continually skirts the edges of cinematic convention. There is a great deal of subtlety in his work, and one will either enjoy that and analyze it, or find that it leaves them bored and disinterested.
Anderson wrote this screenplay with he usual screenwriting partner, Owen Wilson (who played Eli, the Tennenbaums across-the-street neighbor). The screenplay is filled with many wonderful and marvelous moments, and while one might complain that the whole is less than the summation of the parts, the parts are nonetheless very exquisite. The film is stuffed with marvelous moments that are almost throwaways, like a scene in which Chas (Ben Stiller) and his father Royal (Gene Hackman) escape to a closet to argue. The closet is filled with every board game one can possibly imagine, which provides a startling contrast by implying that there was a time when the family perhaps sat around together playing these precise games. Or when one of the characters attempts suicide and then leaves the hospital, a haunting, gorgeous song by Nick Drake, "Fly" is played. The song is a marvelous paean to second chances, and many of the lyrics seem to refer to specific moments in the film. But what is more poignant is the fact that Drake is one of rock's most celebrated suicides, albeit primarily to his cult following. Another detail is the fact that every cab that is seen in the entire film are "Gypsy Cabs" and are the most dilapidated, battered cabs one can imagine.
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