The Royal Tenenbaums [2001]

4starsandahalf (1)

2we Directed by: Wes Anderson
Written by: Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson
Starring: Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Danny Glover, Bill Murray
Narrated by: Alec Baldwin

I first watched The Royal Tenenbaums on a 14-hour plane ride from LA to Japan in early 2002. I was 11 years old, almost 12, and I did not care for it, so I went back to watching Rat Race and Ocean’s Eleven on a loop for the rest of the flight.

Revisiting it now, 11 years later, I can say it is probably Wes Anderson’s finest achievement yet. I’m glad I saw this after Moonrise Kingdom, because where that film failed, this one excels.

Moonrise’s characters were cold, detached and way too offbeat, making them nearly impossible to relate to. I could empathize with the Tenenbaums, who had weight and humanity but still retained Anderson’s trademark quirky traits and sense of humor. Consistently funny, surprisingly moving and featuring a fantastic cast where Huston and Hackman stand out, The Royal Tenenbaums is a great film that I can picture myself watching every now and then.