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A Promise is A Promise …… The Royal Tenenbaums Review by Aletia McKinnon

Around the house here Number 2 Son Kirk has a young lady he seems to be spending quite a bit of time with and for her Grade 11 Media Studies class she was to hand in a paper on a film of her choosing so she went about watching the films of Wes Anderson and settled on this effort which I must happily point out is one of my go to films starring Gene Hackman. Mr. Hackman is someone this site has always been a big supporter of. Click here for more on Gene. I promised our young budding film fanatic that I would feature her and the paper as a guest here on Mike’s Take.

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Here’s Aletia’s “Take” on the 2001 film.

Creative, quirky, dramatic and fantastic. These are just a few words that describe the movie. The Royal Tenenbaums is about Royal Tenenbaum and how he is trying to mend his family problems from the past. He wants to leave a positive impact on them before he dies. There are many reasons why this movie is so great, but the three which stand out the most to me are the plot, setting and camera style.

owen wilson

The film is written and co-written by Wes Anderson and his good friend Owen Wilson; who also stars in the film.Because of this, the story carries their creative touch. They have worked together in writing films with each other for many years now starting with Wes’ first full length film Bottle Rocket (1996). Tenenbaums comes a long way in terms of development of characters and story. In the movie the plot brings the characters together to solve their problems from the past. The plot is creative and insightful. This is shown in the film because the events that unravel are about family issues, everyone can relate to them. It is also a story about redemption, Royal Tenenbaum trying to redeem his good qualities and make up for time lost when his kids were young. For example he tries to connect with his grandchildren who he has never met before. The plot is reinforced with other creative aspects  used in the film industry, i.e. actors, characters and more. With Wes’ quirky style of writing, it helps enhance the overall plot of the film and set up for a great setting.

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“Royal Tenenbaum bought the house on Archer Avenue in the winter of his thirty-fifth year.” in the movie, the setting really helps establish a certain atmosphere which the film needs. This ties all the characters together by putting them all in the same place at the same time. The setting also works well because it allows every character to have their own defining moments. The atmosphere created helps set up the film for certain camera styles and effects to be used.

Wes Anderson has a certain style when it comes to directing films. He likes to keep his frames symmetrical and he uses different patterns to help extenuate a scene. In this movie he uses certain camera angles and distances to help strengthen the emotion found in a scene. This is shown in the scene by the way of the greenline bus when Ritchie’s adopted sister, Margot, comes to pick him up.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Startraks Photo / Rex Features (334917c) LUKE WILSON, GWYNETH PALTROW,GENE HACKMAN BEN STILLER AND ANJELICA HUSTON SET OF THE NEW FILM "THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS" NEW YORK AMERICA 02 APR 2001

I believe that The Royal Tenenbaums is in fact the best movie Wes Anderson has created so far. Directorially it is a piece of art, scripturally you can relate it to your own family feuds. This movie use of camera shots and angles helps emphasize the plot and setting created for the audience. It is truly a great film to watch.

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4 Comments »

  1. Good job! Anderson makes these nice character centred movies and you got how this movie pulls them all together. And I second the blogging suggestion.

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