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November 24 • 7 pm
Right around this time of year, I get an itch to watch Wes Anderson. Specifically, Fantastic Mr. Fox (so maybe it’s a hankering for George Clooney and Meryl Streep). Some might argue that this Anderson classic, based on Roald Dahl’s novel of the same name, is the quintessential fall/Thanksgiving movie. It’s not only deliciously autumnal, with vibrant characters, rust, pumpkin, and butter-yellow-tinged landscapes and environments, but it takes place around the heckin’ holiday (although it’s never explicitly said).
But. But, but, but, I’d counter, The Royal Tenenbaums, which was released eight years earlier in 2001, gives the film a run for its money for that title. Both movies feature complicated, kinda sucky father figures, although Royal, the patriarch of the Tenenbaum family, has much more to redeem himself of than Mr. Fox. How he goes about doing exactly that, making amends (or at least attempting to) with his wife and children, and the messy family dynamic in The Royal Tenenbaums is why it’s the perfect Thanksgiving watch. While trademark Andersonesque melancholy, dark humor, and absurdity intertwine throughout the film, it still leaves you satisfied. And if you needed any more convincing, it’s got scarlet-jumpsuit-clad Ben Stiller, a sad, secretive playwright played by Gwyneth Paltrow, and Luke Wilson as a retired, down-and-out tennis player. Also, Danny Glover—I repeat—Danny Glover.
So, if you are having a quiet Thanksgiving this year but still feel like being around people, or you’re craving some family catharsis, consider heading to The Beacon for a warm, emotional evening.
📸: The Royal Tenenbaums