Royal Tenenbaums, The


Starring: Gene Hackman, Angelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Danny Glover, Bill Murray
Wes Anderson

Rating: R

Review Posted: 7.19.02


By John Teves


The Movie


Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman ) and his wife Etheline (Anjelica Huston ) had three children 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 fifty thousand dollars 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. Most of this was generally considered to be their father's fault. The Royal Tenenbaums is the story of the family's sudden, unexpected reunion one recent winter.


The Royal Tenenbaums is purely remarkable entertainment. For those who enjoy warped and unexpressive humor, The Royal Tenenbaums has enough to satisfy the desire. Wes Anderson draws out powerful performance from the whole cast. The film is brilliant and sophisticated. The manner is dark and pleasantly puzzling and the thinking observer will unquestionably obtain more from this film. The Royal Tenenbaums takes family drama into an invigorating and boisterously entertaining new dominion with impractical characters and their inept venture to come to terms with love and forgiveness.


>Read Angelo's Film Review!

>Read Craig Younkin's Film Review!


The Video


The Royal Tenenbaums appears in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 on this single-sided, dual-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The picture looked excellent. The film appeared flawless. Sharpness appeared solid, crisp and precise; no problems with jagged edges; I did notice a random shake but nothing influential; no significant edge enhancements issues; no signs of grain or speckles. Colors remained solid and dazzling. The film notability furnished a broad array of vivid and active colors. Black levels were deep and lush.


The Audio


The Royal Tenenbaums is presented in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS. This film is not a very busy piece, so I don’t have much to voice regarding audio. Forward speakers remain the focal point for the soundfield the extent of the time. The surrounds were unnoticeable. Dialogue appeared typical and distinct. The music presented an expanded substance.


The Extras

  • Commentary by director Wes Anderson

  • Theatrical trailer

  • New widescreen digital transfer, supervised by director Wes Anderson

  • With the Filmmaker: Portraits by Albert Maysles, featuring Wes Anderson

  • Exclusive video interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, and Danny Glover

  • Outtakes

  • The Peter Bradley Show, featuring interviews with additional cast members

  • The Art of the Movie: Young Richie's murals and paintings, still photographs by set photographer James Hamilton, book and magazine covers, Studio 360 radio segment on painter Miguel Calderón, and storyboards

  • Collectible insert including Eric Anderson's drawings

Criterion did a great job getting these onto the DVD.




The DVD offered very strong picture quality along with rudimentary sound and a very nice collection of extras. I can’t recommend The Royal Tenenbaums to everyone, for some viewers will clearly be annoyed by it. However, if this type of film charms you then this 2-disc DVD comes highly recommend.




Support this site

Buy great items


Buy the DVD



Buy the Poster



Buy the CD



Buy the Script