Royal Tenenbaums

Pickford Film Center Bellingham, WA


Dr. Jeanette Farrell

Psychiatrist, University of Washington Medical Center

The Royal Tenenbaums— Hell of a Damn Grave. Wish it Were Mine.

A discussion of brain chemistry, sibling dynamics, and more. 

Pickford Film Center Bellingham, WA

Film Synopsis

An estranged family of former child prodigies reunites when their father announces he is terminally ill.

Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) and his wife, Etheline (Anjelica Huston), had three children—Chas (Ben Stiller), Richie (Luke Wilson), and Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow). They were a family of geniuses and then they separated. Chas started buying real estate in his early teens and seemed to have had a preternatural understanding of international finance. Margot was a playwright and received a Braverman grant of fifty thousand dollars in the ninth grade. Richie was a junior champion tennis player and won the US Nationals three years in a row. But in the decades that followed, virtually all memory of the brilliance of the young Tenenbaums was erased by years of betrayal, failure, and disaster. Most of this was generally considered to be their father's fault. The tale follows the family's sudden and unexpected reunion one winter.

About the Speaker

Dr. Jeanette Farrell is a psychiatrist at the University of Washington Medical Center. She received her medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine.