157. The Royal Tenenbaums
So here it is: my first Wes Anderson post. I’ve always been a fan of his work, but frankly, I’ve been a bit too intimidated to illustrate any of it. After all, so many talented illustrators have already paid tribute, not least of all being Wes’s brother whose drawings adorn the packaging. But the kick in the pants finally came by way of the blog Cinema Train, which is hosting a Wes Anderson month and asked me to participate. I had no choice but to tackle THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, my favorite Wes Anderson film, and one of my all-time favorite films at that. It centers around a Salinger-esque family of geniuses who come together after years of distance and disappointment to confront and heal old wounds. Like much of Wes Anderson’s work, it’s heavily stylized like a piece of theater or a storybook, emphasized by the fact that the story is being read out chapter by chapter. But what amazes me every time I watch it is that stylized doesn’t equate to stilted. There are so many devices in the film that distance the audience, and so many ways that the characters distance themselves from each other. And yet there’s a humanity underneath the quirkiness, so that when it’s forced to shine through, it’s all the more moving. The fantastic ensemble cast deserves a lot of credit for making that work, even the actors I’m not typically fond of. And Wes Anderson deserves the credit for creating a world in which I never get tired of immersing myself.
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Tags: 2000, United States