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Feature
50 Movie Sibling Rivalries
The brothers and sisters who just can’t seem to get along

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The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

The siblings: Chas (Ben Stiller), Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Richie (Luke Wilson)

What puts them at odds? The pressures of growing up as child geniuses in the Tenenbaum household have driven the three gifted Tenenbaums – businessman, playwright and tennis player respectively – into mature failure and isolation from one another.

The sibling rivalry isn’t immediately obvious in Wes Anderson’s examination of this overachieving clan of New York intellectuals, but it’s there all the same as the three offspring compete for their parents’ attention even in adulthood. All driven back into the maternal nest by various crises, they lick their wounds and find a renewed sense of family as they forgive their errant father for past misdemeanours and consider starting a relationship (in the case of the adopted Margot and Richie, at least). The rivalry, ironically, is best given voice by clan outsider Eli Cash (Owen Wilson), who always wanted to be one of the Tenenbaums and never quite managed it.

Which sibling is your favourite?

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