With a plan to exact revenge on a mythical shark that killed his partner, Oceanographer Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) rallies a crew that includes his estranged wife, a journalist, and a man who may or may not be his son.
Three grown prodigies, all with a unique genius of some kind, and their mother are staying at the family household. Their father, Royal had left them long ago, and comes back to make things right with his family.Written by
Paramount Pictures turned down the film before Touchstone Pictures picked it up. See more »
When Margot and Royal are watching the Peter Bradley Show together in Ritchie's room, the door to the hallway is clearly open. However, when Ritchie enters the room from the hallway, he has to open the (now fully closed) door. See more »
Royal Tenenbaum bought the house on Archer Avenue in the winter of his 35th year. Over the next decade, he and his wife had three children, and then they separated.
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The film title first appears on a library book being checked out, then several of the books are seen, and finally the book cover becomes a title card. See more »
Three different songs were used for the final sequence at various points. Some advance screenings (including the New York Film Festival version) featured the Beatles' "I'm Looking Through You" (not the "official" version, but rather the alternate version available on the "Anthology 2" CD set), while others used the Beach Boys' "Sloop John B." The final version of the scene is accompanied by Van Morrison's "Everyone." See more »
Written by Van Morrison
Published by WB Music Corp. o/b/o itself and Caledonia Soul Music
Performed by Van Morrison
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products See more »
The perfect balance of drama and comedy
I loved this film.
The Tenenbaum's dysfunction (while amplified for the screen) is quite an accurate portrayal of family life. Families are, essentially, groups of people living in each other's pockets, and, invariably, those people who love you and hate you the most.
Don't get me wrong, Royal and his (thermo)nuclear family of brilliant buffoons do not represent my family (or any other in the world I think!) but the family united against a miscreant father is a motif a lot of people can understand. It is this common humanity that really appeals to me as a film watcher, and what, ultimately made this film so very memorable to me.
The ensemble cast is astonishingly proficient. They all lend a perfect quirkiness to the roles. Anjelica Houston is the perfect former Mrs Royal Tenenbaum, down to the smallest nuance, Ben Stiller and Luke Wilson turn in wonderful performances, and this is the only role I've seen Gwenyth Paltrow in where I actually thought she was someone other than Gwenyth Paltrow (this is not an insult, it's just that people don't always do it for everyone, you know...?). Bill Murray, Gene Hackman, Owen Wilson, all excellent, all the time.
The black comedy counterbalanced with the drama of the issues raised in this film left me feeling like I'd witnessed a film event, rather than just another film. I loved every frame of it, from the Baldwin narrated opening, to the final tying up of ends. It never dwelled on melodrama, or the more potentially unsavoury elements, and it didn't sink into the schmaltzy "We all love each other" end it could well have. It began perfectly, and it ended perfectly.
I can't recommend this movie more highly. It's a must see for anyone who loves quirky and emotive storytelling, great characters and beautiful dialogue.
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