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The Royal Tenenbaums

  • 2001
  • R
  • 110min
  • 80%
  • 7.6 / 10

The film is supposedly based on a non-existent novel and follows the story of three siblings who’ve experienced a lot of success while they were young followed by disappointment and failure as adults. During their childhood, the patriarch Royal Tenenbaum, played by Gene Hackman, explains to the three children, Chas (played by Ben Stiller), Margot (played by Gwyneth Paltrow), and Richie (played by Luke Wilson, that he and their mother Etheline, played by Anjelica Huston, are separating. Years later, Royal Tenenbaum reemerges with a terminal illness and tries to reconnect with his children, who are now adults.

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The film struck a personal chord for Gene Hackman, who said he felt parallels between his character Royal Tenebaum’s relationship with his children and his own real-life experiences. He said that he almost didn’t take the part, feeling that he’d been “insensitive” to his own family during his life. Before accepting the part, he sought their permission, wondering if it would make them uncomfortable. They all agreed that it would not and that he should accept the part, giving him their blessing.

At one point, Luke Wilson’s character punches a pane of glass, which was unscripted. The film quickly cuts to two other characters as Wes Anderson thought Wilson had seriously injured himself.

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about the movie

The Royal Tenenbaums is a 2001 comedy-drama film written and directed by Wes Anderson, with Owen Wilson also receiving a writing credit. It stars Danny Glover, Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, and Owen Wilson.

It debuted on October 5, 2001 at the New York Film Festival and was released on December 14, 2001 in the United States to positive reviews, grossing $71.4 million against a budget of $21 million. It holds an approval rating of 80% on the film aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes while Metacritic has assigned it a score of 76 out of 100.