Just saw the Royal Tenenbaums not an hour ago, and I have a blank in my head that craves stuffing. So for my first node I'll write about this movie, and hope that someone else can help me understand it more. (Sorry if I put spoilers in this node: if I do I'll try to warn you reader)
I think one of my problems may have been that I came into the theatre having seen Wes Anderson's Rushmore three times and loving it (although as of yet I have not seen Bottle Rocket). Maybe my expectations were too high, and I should have come into the theatre with a more open mind (I do plan to see it again) but as conform said above, the first half of the movie was very different from any sort of expectations.
The acting was stupendous, and I was able to connect with each character's flaws, quirks and problems. Yet after the turning point of the film (**SPOILER ALERT-I think this point comes when Royal is found out for faking his disease and kicked out of the house**), while I was still able to understand each character, something flew out the window for me.
I might have just stopped paying enough attention, but I felt like there was something missing. Though I was constantly reminding myself of the beginning of the film when the relationships between Royal and each of the children is explained (and I advise any other viewer to do so as well) I didn't feel that it tied together in my mind that well...that the new developments of the characters went in strange directions. Royal had a most pleasureable development...Perhaps what struck me was the Eli-Margot-Chas triangle. To me its outcome wasn't explained, and I wish we'd gotten to see even more of Eli as a character. One thing that I felt was left hanging was Raleigh's relationship with Margot.
On the whole, I think the film wonderfully portrays caricatures of people that many of us feel inside ourselves: the need for secrecy Margot has, how when her secrets are exposed it hurts those nearest to her. Chas' pain and need to suppress it, and his anger at his father. Richie's disappointments and his love, and of course Royal's realization that his life was devoid of a wonderful thing: a family, even a dysfunctional one.
As for Anderson's and Wilson's use of almost slap-stick-like comedy, I feel that like Catch-22 and other works of satire, it is one of the only ways that people can accept and think about these circumstances, these deep feelings. By putting a light coating of humour on top, we are able to dig through the cold soil underneath.
Perhaps I'll find what I was missing when I go to see this movie again, but I really would love to hear from other E2 members what their thoughts on this movie are.