Wes Anderson tends to be a polarizing figure in film...like Roman Polanski without the felony. I've seen folks walk out of his films in frustration, while others sit through the credits all misty-eyed. Many people find his films lush and easy to connect to, while some feel his work is heavy-handed and twee. I consider myself to be a big fan of the Anderson oeuvre, yet I've found myself conflicted more than once about his films. I still feel that way about The Life Aquatic, and I'm not sure I'll ever know what I really think about it. The Royal Tenenbaums, however, was a quick study. I'm no film critic, but for my money, there are few films that strike as perfect a balance between hilarity and downright despair with such charm. Gwyneth Paltrow becomes multi-dimensional (!), Danny Glover is a revelation and Ben Stiller is pitch-perfect as the neurotic, over-achieving Chas. A warning, thoughthe suicide scene with Luke Wilson's character is all the more harrowing now, given what we know about co-writer Owen Wilson's troubles. Despite the darker undertones of the film, it's still a touching and comedic piece about family ties, and it's a good primer for a viewing of Anderson's newest flick, The Darjeeling Limited. Catch The Royal Tenenbaums at the Inwood Theatre, 5458 West Lovers Lane, during midnight showings this Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $9.25. Call 214-764-9106 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
Fri., Nov. 23; Sat., Nov. 24, 2007