The Royal Tenenbaums: James Hamilton
October 24, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Royal Tenenbaums

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
108 minutes
Limited Release Date
12/14/01
Wide Release Date
12/28/01
performer
Danny Glover, Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson
director
Wes Anderson
distributor
Buena Vista Pictures
author
Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson
genre
Comedy

It’s remarkable what two peculiar little films can do: Neither ”Bottle Rocket” nor ”Rushmore” lit a fire at the box office, yet everyone wants to work with Wes Anderson. ”Oh, I was fascinated to meet him,” says Anjelica Huston. ”We had eggs Benedict together, and — this is pure Wes — he had never had them before. He seemed extremely young and very serious. Like he contains all ages, if you know what I mean.” At that meeting, the now-32-year-old writer-director asked Huston to play Etheline — an archaeologist and the matriarch of the Tenenbaums. The movie finds the precocious family, which includes three children (Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, and Owen Wilson), struggling to reunite after the departure of the father, Royal (Gene Hackman).

”I had Hackman and Huston in mind from the beginning,” says Anderson, whose ensemble also includes Bill Murray as their son-in-law. ”I usually write for [specific] actors. And, really, most of them ended up in the movie.” Beyond its bountiful cast, ”The Royal Tenenbaums” marks a departure for the director — he’s finally moved his milieu outside of his native Texas. ”I’ve always been fascinated with New York,” he says, explaining that the film was inspired by his favorite Gotham eras — the 1920s through the 1950s. ”But it doesn’t ever actually say ‘New York’ in the movie. It just has places that are New York sounding — like Archer Avenue and the 375th Street Y.” Oh, you mean the Upper, Upper, Upper West Side?

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