Top 10 Voice-Overs In Film

By April 9, 2011Top 10 Lists

9. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

Narrator (V.O.)

Among the few possessions he left to his heirs was a set of Encyclopedia Britannica in storage at the Lindbergh Palace Hotel under the names Ari and Uzi Tenenbaum. No-one spoke at the funeral, and Father Petersen's leg had not yet mended, but it was agreed among them that Royal would have found the event to be most satisfactory.

If you haven’t seen this film, the Narrator (Alec Baldwin) tells the tale of a family of burnt out prodigies straight out of a storybook. In reality, the book doesn’t exist. It’s actually a nod towards J.D. Salinger’s Glass Family Chronicles, particularly “Franny and Zooey” from 1961. In a lot of films, directors could do well to remove the voice-over, but in The Royal Tenenbaums, the voice-over is absolutely essential for setting the mood of the film, which, as you’ll know if you’re a Wes Anderson fan, is quite specific. Baldwin’s voice helps to break up the stillness and emotional vacuity of the film, as well as lightening it up a tad, which is greatly appreciated! Like all helpful narrators, he’ll also fill in the gaps occasionally.