Against The Hype

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Best Shot: The Royal Tenenbaums

July 26, 2012 By: Colin Low Category: Capsuled Thoughts

This post was written for the Hit Me with Your Best Shot series over at The Film Experience, graciously hosted by Nathaniel Rogers.

Wes Anderson’s films (of the mere Oscar-nominated two I’ve seen) brim with shots like the above: candy-colored, immaculately designed, and with human props at its center. Can you tell I’m not that huge a fan? Yet I love how the pervasive deadpan that Anderson enforces on his actors leaps out into the image here. The billboard behind Royal (Gene Hackman) and Pagoda (Kumar Pallana) might be the visual equivalent of a racist joke—why does the Indian right-hand man get lumped in with a Spanish translation?—but it’s also blaring the emergency/emergencia in which these two baffled men are waist-deep, but barely able to countenance.

2 Comments to “Best Shot: The Royal Tenenbaums


  1. Hmmmm, I never even noticed the emergency/emergencia gaffe. Visually, the shot does look like something much pleasant and calmer than a parent visiting their child who just committed suicide.

    But, that’s part of the humour of the film’s irreverence.

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  2. Also, welcome back.

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