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The Royal Tenenbaums [DVD] [2002]

Gene Hackman , Anjelica Huston , Wes Anderson    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
Price: 9.64 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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The Royal Tenenbaums [DVD] [2002] + The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou [DVD] + Rushmore [DVD] [1999]
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Product details

  • Actors: Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Directors: Wes Anderson
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Italian
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios HE
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Dec 2002
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000062V94
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,109 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Oscar-nominated comedy about an oddball New York family of former child geniuses from writer-director Wes Anderson ('Rushmore'). Before their marriage floundered, Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) and his wife Etheline (Angelica Huston) succeeded in raising three prodigies: business supremo Chas (Ben Stiller), prize-winning playwright Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow) and tennis champion Richie (Luke Wilson). Now, after years of separation, and with the children grown-up and the memory of their prodigy faded, Royal returns to his family and tries to make amends. However, with Royal's history of lies and betrayal, his offspring - who all now have problems of their own - are going to have trouble welcoming him back.


In their youth, the Tenenbaums--an eccentric New York family--were extraordinary. They were all geniuses. Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) was a successful litigator. His wife Etheline (Angelica Huston) raised their children to be ambitious, entrepreneurial, and creative--then published an acclaimed book about her child-rearing techniques. Adopted daughter Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow) was a gifted playwright. Son Chas (Ben Stiller) was a masterful businessman with a taste for real estate. And the other son, Richie (Luke Wilson), was a natural tennis champ. However, when Royal packed up his life and left his wife and his family in a cloud of betrayal, everything fell apart. Twenty years later, the Tenenbaums are a dejected and alienated bunch, each having found that their early successes did not carry over into adulthood. When washed-up Royal learns that his distant wife Etheline, who has become an archaeologist, may remarry, he feigns illness as an excuse to reunite with his estranged family.

From Wes Anderson, director of Rushmore, this film is full of quirky comedy that will have audiences reeling and reflecting simultaneously. The brilliant script is impeccable with choppy, intentionally awkward language delivered with dry wit by the well-appointed (almost too good to be true) cast. Dramatic sets are emphasized by the film's masterful orchestration of scene changes and chapter separations. The photography beautifully captures a faded, vintage 1980s New York. And the eclectic soundtrack features much-loved tunes by Nico, The Velvet Underground, The Clash, and the Vince Guaraldi Trio.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite film of 2002 3 Dec 2002
By A Customer
What a wonderful film. Poignant, funny and eccentric, I absolutely loved it. The cast are perfect, delivering finely understated performances without a hint of A-List ego. Gene Hackman is at his finest, but Gwyneth Paltrow and Luke Wilson are also tremendous.
It's also worth mentioning the film's soundtrack, as the song choices contribute heavily to the feel of the film. Songs by Nico, Dylan, the Velvet Underground and Nick Drake lend a dreamy timeless quality while certain characters and episodes benefit hugely from the music - Eli Cash and the Clash for instance, or Elliot Smith's Needle in the Hay playing over one pivotal point in the film.
I would recommend this film wholeheartedly to anyone who likes their films a little off centre - if you enjoyed Amelie, say or American Beauty then I think you would love this..
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anderson's best 30 Jun 2007
I expect many will dismiss Anderson's Magnus Opus as one of two things. `Quirky' or `insubstantial'. They are, in no uncertain terms, wrong. Yes the film is offbeat, innovative and original, quirky even, and yes the production design is near saturated with wondrous stylistic flourishes. But, crucially, this is not a case of style obscuring substance. This is style begetting substance. For every Dalmatian mouse, we get a fantastically realised character, for every kitsch tableau, we get a wonderful moment of human interaction. The Royal Tenenbaums is a movie steeped in acute, ingenious, absurd observation. It's a deceptively complicated fable of human loss, grief and redemption, played out with beguiling subtlety by its all star cast.

The screenplay (written by Anderson with long time collaborator Owen Wilson) somehow manages to give each character of the large ensemble cast immeasurable depth . It's a stunning achievement considering the relatively scant screen time each actor gets. When Royal (played by a twinkling Gene Hackman) confronts his estranged wife Ethel (Angelica Houston) , with the news of his imminent death it's a wonderful moment. With approximately eleven lines of dialogue, we are given an astonishing insight into the two characters. A lesser film would struggle to impart so much in its entire running time. Not only is this sequence informative, it is both moving and laugh out loud funny. It's a combination that the film pulls out of the bag often.

Thematically The Royal Tenenbaums is supercharged. The witty banter, and recognisably comic actors conceal very dark undercurrents. Divorce, suicide, drug abuse, incestuous relationships and death all are brought to the fore, thinly veiled by sparkling delivery and a rose tinted camera lens.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different but absolutely fantastic 13 Oct 2005
Royal Tenenbaum is about a story of a man trying to reconcile with his family whom he had left behind. He was once a succesful lawyer and then left with no money and had to return back to his own home as he has no where as to go. The story takes you to each individual tenenbaum and engages you with their lives and personality and the dynamics that exists between them all.
I can see how some people may find it tedious as it is definitely not your bog standard Hollywood film. I find it really clever, well narrated and the characters/actors and actresses played really well. (my fav character is that Indian man who follows Royal everywhere!!) There's always something new and subtle which I seemed to find everytime I watched the film again.
Perhaps it won't appeal to most, but I definitely give it a 5 stars.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual but excellent psychological comedy drama 13 Mar 2006
Very unusual semi-psychological comedy drama starring Gene Hackman as an ageing lecherous wealthy father who tries to make peace with his long separated wife (Anjelica Huston) and their three damaged and eccentric adult children (Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller and Luke Wilson).
Royal Tenenbaums is a thought provoking film which deals with deep issues like incest with sensitivity but is still essentially a life-affirming comedy. Like Amelie, its story is told in a “photo comic book” format, which, with the 70s haircuts on show, make it seem strangely both a period piece and a modern film dealing with contemporary issues. An excellent film with some fine performances.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utter brilliance. 13 Jan 2003
By eruke
This is a beautifully made movie which although deep and insightful is also light and refreshing. A tale of family , of yearning long-suffering love , of tolerance and of perseverance , alien concepts in today's society . It is beautifully woven together and realistic although the darker undertones are always present. Stiller ,Paltrow and Wilson bring to life the prodigious Tenenbaum children ,whilst Houston's performance as their committed and determined mother is quite remarkable. However the best performance is undoutable that of the erstwhile roguish father in the form of Hackman , who although usually tends to play these more unprincipled characters still manages to inject something extra to sucessfully carry off the role of Royal . Glover also gives a solid performace . This film surely is one of the best made in years and is therefore highly recommended to not only watch ,but to add to any dvd or video collection.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a wasted moment 31 July 2004
By A Customer
Possibly the best director to emerge in the last 10 years, Wes Anderson has developed an unmistakable style with his previous offerings Bottle Rocket and Rushmore. This is continued and even improved on in The Royal Tennenbaums.
There is not a second in the film where you can't admire something, quirky camera work, brilliant music (courtesy of Mark Mothersbaugh, Elliot Smith and The Rolling stones to name a few) the gloriously outdated costumes and sets or the near perfect performances from a superb cast. Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson and Bill Murray dead pan to an almost surreal degree (Murray is a sad eyed genius) with Gene Hackman and Ben Stiller providing the more lively moments as the Scheming Royal Tennenbaum and his workaholic, widower son Chas.
The sense of humour is not for everyone, it's devoid of setpieces, innuendo, gross out humour, jokes or often dialogue. Most of the obvious laughs come from tennenbaum butler Pogoda who is one of the funniest characters in recent memory. The humour is subtle and based around the actors actually acting which is a bit alienating for movie fans who are after Jason Biggs placing his penis into a pie (ho ho ho...penis).
Anderson's attention to detail is stunning and comes across in all of the meticulously constructed characters, thier clothes (that were intended to show they are all trapped in thier hayday of the 1970's) and the grand and somewhat gothic tennenbaum house. Everything is explained through introductions to each character and flashbacks (voiced over by the dulcet tones of Alec Baldwin) this gives the feeling that the characters are almost real and that Anderson and co writer and star Owen Wilson know what they had for breakfast on April 29 1981 and would have told you if they had the time.
The DVD is also heavy on the extra's so there's really no excuse for missing it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a good film!
From the opening credits, I loved the whole film. The cast is superb and the acting consistently brilliant. Read more
Published 1 month ago by teavil
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this film!
Love this film! All Wes Anderson's films are great. Delivery very good and it was 2 discs when I thought I was only getting one, brilliant.
Published 3 months ago by KatyS
5.0 out of 5 stars On the Corner of Quirky Street and Cohn
Inventive, micro-episodic, funny ha-ha and peculiar. Not sure what it subject matter is, though. Maybe humanity's ability to forgive? Children and their suffering? Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mario
5.0 out of 5 stars You need this film in your life
Oddly warming film about a broken family, a mix of themes and ties together nicely at the end. Really don't want to give anything away.... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jayde
5.0 out of 5 stars like it
didnt think much of it the first couple of times i saw this film but something lingered. unique, some funny parts, great characters. probably too quirky for some.
Published 7 months ago by nicola beattie
1.0 out of 5 stars good film....poor copy
I should've sent it back, but as I bought it with a few others, and as I knew I was taking a risk, as they were all second-hand DVD's, great film, but this copy wont play.... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ian Griffiths
5.0 out of 5 stars My kind of family
The story of this fabulously dis-functional family is told with subversive wit and a wayward disregard for 'normality'. I really felt at home with them especially Margot! Read more
Published 8 months ago by Lindsay Fulcher
3.0 out of 5 stars very american
I do need to view this a lot more to give it a fairer rating.
The main reason for buying it is because Gene Hackman is in it and plays the main part. Read more
Published 8 months ago by flibity
4.0 out of 5 stars A window on a strange family
The description of this film left me unsure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised and rather enjoyed its left-field humour. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Prof Zebedee
4.0 out of 5 stars Attention Seekers
The Tenenbaums are a family of individuals who create a family. They are separate but trying to come together. Read more
Published 12 months ago by prisrob
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