Official Direct Thread: The Royal Tenenbaums

Consider this your official thread for Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums. What are your favorite moments, themes, and compositions? How do you think this film relates to the rest of Anderson's filmography? Discuss! 


  • TravisTravis CA
    edited December 2016
    Despite being somewhere in my top 3 movies, I haven't seen it in probably around 8 years or so (I just don't re-watch movies anymore it seems no matter how much I love them) so I am hoping to watch it somewhere in the next couple of days and share some thoughts. I shared it somewhere else in here too, but in the spirit of celebrating this amazing move I wanted to share my all time favorite Halloween costume that I did in (I believe) 2003.

    EDIT: Sorry the picture is so damned big. Not sure how to reduce it without jumping through a bunch of hoops.
  • DaveyMacDaveyMac Tokyo
    edited December 2016
    The Royal Tenenbaums is a film that I first saw in the theater in high school and I remember being super disappointed, because I was expecting a standard dumb comedy with lots of laughs. I had never heard of Wes Anderson and was just going off the cast and the trailers. But then it stuck with me and I felt compelled to see it again. And again. And then I bought the Criterion on DVD and it grew on me and became one of my favorite films. 

    Like Travis, though, I hadn't watched it in over ten years and I was excited to pop it back in last night and boy does it hold up. It's a damn good film. It's a lot funnier than I remembered. But it also punches hard on the dramatic side as well. I found myself getting a tad emotional at several points in the latter half. Royal is a real son of a bitch as Danny Glover puts it, but I really cared for him in the end. 

    One thing I'd be interested in hearing you guys talk about is how Wes Anderson uses race in his films. I've noticed criticism of the way he handles race crop up around the internet from time to time and I was just curious if you guys had any thoughts. In this particular film you've got Royal making some pretty racist comments towards Sherman and you've also got Eli Cash and his relationship to Native American culture. And the Gypsy cab company. And in many of his films, people of color are often cast in minor roles sometimes being fiercely loyal to the the rich, privileged white protagonists. I know it's all most likely very intentional on his part, and he's probably trying to make a point and I'm sure he's using it at times to poke fun at the insensitivity of his protagonists, but it something that has cropped up to some degree in all three of these films and will continue to crop up, especially in The Darjeeling Limited . I'm not even sure I have an opinion on all of it. I was just curious about what you guys think.

    Here's a few other random thoughts:
    • Three movies in and we've had three endings done in slow motion. 
    • There was some precursor stuff to Grand Budapest Hotel in this one.
    • It took me until the end of the film to realize that Alec Baldwin was doing the narration.
    Great picture, by the way. @Travis
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