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July 26, 2002 - Image 88

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-07-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Arts & Entertainment

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7/26

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Gene Hackman, right, feins an illness to move back in with his children (Ben Stiller
and Gwyneth Paltrow) and grandchildren in "The Royal Tenenbaums."

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C

from page 86

kt

come to life? The confusion works,
because your interest never wanes.
Gwyneth Paltrow, a deadpan expres-
sion, her eyes ringed in black, might
be another refugee from the Addams
Family. She's the adopted daughter.
Ben Stiller plays an angry and
anguished son, Chas, and Luke
Wilson another son, Richie, a tennis
star, also come to ruin.
Eli Cash (played by the other
Wilson brother, Owen) is a neighbor
who becomes a commercially success-
ful writer of Westerns with a danger-
ous drug habit. In between, there's a
lot to keep you busy:
• An inappropriate love interest
between Margot (Gwyneth) and her
sibling Richie;
• A diverting romance between the
mother, Etheline (Anjelica), and her
accountant, Henry Sherman (played
by Danny Glover);
• Mice that look like tiny Dalmatian
dogs;
• A flashback to Margot finding her
birth parents;
• A pet falcon;
• An attempted suicide;
• And plenty more.
A note to Bill Murray fans: As
Raleigh St. Clair, he's depressed, low-
key and vulnerable, but look deeper
and he's still that off-the-wall guy.
Don't be deceived by his character.
Clue: what he does for a living.
The movie presents itself on screen
as chapters in a book about the
Tenenbaums, narrated by the voice of
Alec Baldwin. After a brief prologue of
the early life of the rich, if wacky fam-
ily, the book takes the movie forward
more than 20 years.
Here's where the engine of dysfunc-
tion drives the family's activities and
interactions. Royal comes back broke
and dying. Well, he comes back broke,

that's for sure. But dying or not, this
"slickster" turned Dad again is deter-
mined to make things right.
The movie is never sentimental,
because Anderson's style is too postmod-
ern for that. But it does get to you;
there's special poignancy in the scenes
between Hackman and Stiller, Hackman
and Huston, and Hackman and Glover.
It isn't "happily ever after" but it's
"life goes on." The surreal becomes
both real and rewarding. ❑

DVD
Supplements

Disc I features a commentary with
Wes Anderson.
Disc II includes the following:
• Scrapbook: Click on the paint-
ings on the wall for a look at the
behind-the-scenes making of the
film. Find the mouse and you get a
candid Bill Murray.
• With the Filmmaker: Probably
the most rewarding supplement, this
segment was produced for the
Independent Film Channel Series by
the distinguished Jewish documen-
tary filmmaker Albert Maysles. It
shows the creation of the sets inside
the house in some detail, and also is
worth watching for the shots of the
falcon trainer and his falcon (no
computer-generated bird here.) You
can also view some interesting takes
with the actors, including Hackman.
• Cut Scenes: Anderson's one big
editing mistake was leaving out of
the film the romantic dinner scene
between Glover and Huston with a
flaming dessert. See it here.
• Interviews: Play, all of these.
Select by portraits. Great stuff from
the actors.

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