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Please, Give me a Second Grace

I am going to cross-link to this post primarily because it’s awesome and I want to be able to find it again later should the need arise.  I’ll do this in the guise of some commentary on commentary…  How appropriate to the web.

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I found the following commentary on music in The Royal Tenenbaums.  In a nutshell, it is awesome.  First, it generally accurately describes the complexity of the two main characters, Margot and Richie.  Second, the author clearly has a greater understanding of the plot and the relationship of the music to the plot than I ever put together in spite of the fact that I loved the music enough to borrow the soundtrack from my then-girlfriend for an entire summer.

Third, reading this article completely changed my understanding of the movie as a whole.  Before reading this, I always felt like the movie was about Royal.  However, after reading this, I realized this is not the case.  Of course Royal is a jerk, but he is also right about virtually everything he said.  He’s brutally, brutally honest, but almost always truthful (lacking in one significant instance, of course).  Though, his observations about the behavior of his family and children are, largely, dead-on.

I realized after reading this article that the movie is actually almost completely about Richie and Margot.  Their improper but inescapable affection for one another is the driving force in both of their lives.  It, essentially, destroyed their otherwise promising careers and life-trajectories.  Interestingly, a loss of love also virtually destroyed Chas.  A lack of love growing up also had a poor effect on their neighbor, Eli Cash.  Seemingly, every character is struggling with a missing love or an unattainable affection.

I won’t try and recreate the article here, but it is masterful.  I am all the more a fan of this movie having read this article and having re-watched the movie. You should do the same.

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