Broken Flowers (2005)
USA / English
"Sometimes life brings some strange surprises.
"As the devoutly single Don Johnston (Murray) is dumped by his latest girlfriend (Delpy), he receives an anonymous pink letter informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. The situation causes Don to examine his relationships with women instead of moving on to the next one, and he embarks on a cross-country search for his old flames who might possess clues to the mystery at hand.
Wonderfully unique and charming (but perhaps too spare)
I just saw this at a press screening. It's very smart, well-made and
entertaining, directed with sure-handed control, full of quirky, funny
moments and superb acting. The film pretty much avoids clichés,
although it does rely a bit on the familiar "Aren't Middle-Americans
quirky?" idea for its humor. But Jarmusch never goes too far with this,
his restraint keeping the film propelled from beginning to end.
The only weakness for me is rooted in the film's strength: I feel like
there's not quite enough here.
Murray's character is beleaguered and despondent, Murray plays him with
perfect subtlety. This is fun and fascinating to watch; I found myself
hanging onto every little expression on Murray's face. But, the
combination of his passive, muted performance and the spare
storytelling left me wanting more. It just doesn't have as much impact
as I feel it could have. So, yes, it's wonderful minimalism, but
perhaps a bit too slight of a movie to have any lasting resonance.
Bill Murray has added another very good performance to his career, and
Jim Jarmusch has made another compact little gem (unlike some of his
more recent films). Unique and entertaining. Definitely worth seeing.
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