The Royal Tenenbaums

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The Royal Tenenbaums ★★★½ 2001 (R)

An derson and Wilson's third and most ambi tious film concerns a wildly eccentric fami ly of kid geniuses who converge upon their childhood home as unhappy adults, just as their longestranged father shows up looking for handouts and understand ing, and mother is considering remarriage to the family accountant. Book lovers will appreciate the literary allusions—the Tenenbaum house seems lifted from the pages of J.D. Salinger or John Irving—and storybook styling, down to the chapter headings and gruff narration. Inventive script and quirky dialogue carry a story that sometimes becomes cartoonish, as most of the characters are onedimensional. Some may find the film's overt weirdness a bit much, but there's a heart underneath it all. Hackman's performance as the dastardly, tactless, and yet wholly lovable Royal is a supreme comic feat. Depression has never been so fun. 108m/C VHS, DVD . US Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Danny Glover, Seymour Cassel, Kumar Pallana, Grant Rosenmeyer, Jonah Meyerson, Stephen Lea Sheppard; D: Wes Anderson; W: Owen Wilson, Wes Anderson; C: Robert Yeoman; M: Mark Mothersbaugh; Nar: Alec Baldwin. Golden Globes '02: Actor—Mus./Comedy (Hackman); Natl. Soc. Film Critics '01: Actor (Hackman).