Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) and his wife Etheline (Anjelica Huston, magnificent in this role), have two son: Chas (Ben Stiller) and Richie (Luke Wilson), and an adopted daughter, Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow). The three children are geniuses in their respective fields (finance, tennis, theater). Growing up in a dysfunctional family, they may waste all their talents.
Fickle and self-centered, Royal leaves his wife and children. Several years later, suddenly penniless, he decides to return home under the pretext of wanting to reconcile with his family. He claims to dying from cancer, the better to gain acceptance .
An incisive film, The Royal Tenenbaums is brilliant, yes, but also troubling. The purpose of the numerous puns and allusions are often cruel and to laugh at the members of this family seems just as wrong as they are total misfits. The soundtrack is excellent, corresponding perfectly to the nostalgic scenes.
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