The Royal Tenenbaums

I can’t believe I didn’t blog about this right after we saw it. Jen and I watched The Royal Tenenbaums a couple weeks ago. If you haven’t seen it yet, drop what you’re doing, rush to your local video store (as long as it’s not Blockbuster) and rent it. Heck, go to your favorite purveyor or videos or DVD’s and buy it.

Ok, wait, come back. I loved this movie. Better yet, it has the most joyful scene I’ve seen in a film in a very long time. Gene Hackman plays Royal Tenenbaum, a real bastard. He left his family 22 years ago, is out of money, and tries to ingratiate himself to his abandoned family by telling them he’s going to die. One of his ploys is to win the love of his two grandsons. I won’t tell you anymore about the storyline, except this scene. The two boys are extremely sheltered by their father (Ben Stiller). Royal thinks this is a tragedy, and takes the kids out to commit some mischief. There’s a three to four minute montage of them committed several misdemeanors around town, driving go-karts around (I think) a high school football stadium (it could be a track), hitching a ride on the back of a garbage truck and throwing water balloons at passing cars. Gene Hackman deserved the Oscar for that scene alone. He and the boys were full of uncontrollable joy and vitality.

If you like True Stories, Bottle Rocket or Magnolia, you’ll love this movie.

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