THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS
hopscotchee: gwyneth paltrow score: 83 rating: R time: 110 minutes
for any of you who don't know, the royal tenenbaums is a film, centering around an off-the-wall quirky family, that's written and directed by wes anderson. yes. wes anderson, that amateur. you probably haven't heard of him....🤣 aaaahhh, just kidding (hashtag the parxs). in all formality, the royal tenenbaums is a wes anderson showpiece, full of a wondrous cast of characters and humor that brings home the cake. it truly is a re-watcher that can't help but get better. obviously, obviously slaying on the set design, we will once again refrain from spending this entire review glorifying that department. we will acknowledge it here (good job 👏👏👏👏) and move on. plus, there are some other categories we want to applaud. and just like this family depicts, ignoring one child doesn't end up well. so let's not be a royal, and let's be good review-parents.
it would cause a clamor, if there was a bad wes movie, wouldn't it?? that's just a strange reality to think of. likewise, it would be equally appalling if his films had a flat, uninteresting, basic storyline. lucky for us, we don't live in that world, and the royal tenenbaums is anything but rudimentary. rumor has it that the tenenbaums are *possibly* about the ronson family - like mark ronson's fam. we heard that once and have not done thorough enough research to have the final say on that, but the thought is intriguing. nonetheless, no matter where the inspo for the 'baums came from, the characters are all meticulously developed, well shaped, and appropriately complex. specifically speaking, the ability to introduce the audience to all of them and set up the general gist of the plot under the expected 15 minute window was impressive. jamming a whole bunch of backstories and introductions, the real credit has to be given to the script. clearly written excellently, the load of information hits directly on what is necessary and needed. sure, there is a lot of details being shared, but there is no more. no fluff. no nonsense. and we can only imagine the cut down and debating processes that went on to choose what was important to share and what was better left on the character bio page.
segway-ing, although we found a few minor mishaps with the daytime rooftop scenes (due to the moving clouds), the editing deserves the next pat on the back. in particular, a scene that we loved for its editing was when (spoiler) richie was grooming himself in the bathroom, before he sadly tried to take his life ☹️. before the switch in action, we get a flash frame of richie standing in front of the camera before he buzzed his hair and cleaned up his beard. the flash frame happens so quickly, but the editing spice impacts the scene by supporting the contrast between who richie was and who he is in that moment. essentially, to put it in super, simple terms, the choice in editing made your whole body gasp and say "oooooo". many could over look the addition of flash frames in films, but think of it this way: would the scene be the same without it??
and lastly, although we said we wouldn't cliché the bejesus out of this wes anderson movie review and hit the set design and color, we still want to give credit to the man, himself. whether you like his work or not, wes is a greatly magnificent director. he just knows what he's doing. as can be seen during the (spoiler) chase scene at the wedding, maybe this isn't focusing on a perfectly crafted color palette, but the dedication in blocking that scene was appreciated on our end. figuring out where the chase can happen, where the actors can go, where the camera and crew can stand, and how to make the chase look believable on cam is all taken into consideration on wes' end, and the turnout of it was not lacking his directorial talent.
closing out this review, the royal tenenbaums is contagiously quirky and quick-witted. artsy films aren't everyone's cuppa, but family dramas are a strong staple when it comes to relatability. and we promise that, even if you aren't the artsy movie-goer type, this is a household classic.
-- thanks, gwyneth xo