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Movie Review: The Brothers Bloom

April 26, 2009

A smart, funny film with sentiment

An unwritten life.  That is what Adrien Brody’s character longs for in The Brothers Bloom, the latest film from indie breakout writer/director Rian Johnson.  Johnson’s first major release Brick (2005)  was a film noir nestled in a high school setting.  In contrast, this is a light hearted romp.

Brothers Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrien Brody) have been grifters their entire life.  Stephen is the mastermind  behind their plans and uses a flow chart to assign roles for whatever current ruse he dreams up.  They move quickly from one con to another, always acting a part in their elaborate schemes.

poster_the_brothers_bloom01Stephen concocts a plan to swindle heiress Penelope (Rachel Weisz) out of her fortune. Bloom ends up falling for the heiress, and she decides she wants to participate in their nefarious dealings trading black market antiques (which is what they want her to believe).   Comedy ensues.

Prior to the movie, director Johnson explained the film we were going to see as “a fairy tale about con movies”.  It does have a bit of that dreamy, surreal feel to it.  The locations were gorgeous (at the Q & A Johnson indicated a large part of the film was filmed in Serbia). The dialogue was crisp and funny.

Rachel Weisz was quirky and adorable, and one of my favorite moments in the movie was when  a montage showcased all the hobbies she has collected including origami, juggling chainsaws, the banjo, breakdancing and riding a unicycle.  Adrien Brody does a superb job conveying his character’s sadness and conflicting emotions. Mark Ruffalo was charming as always.  Silent sidekick Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi) provides comedy relief while only speaking two words in the entire film.

The ending is arguably left open to some interpretation, and depending on what your personal take on it is, the movie might end on a bittersweet note as it did for me.

Johnson is poised to be a serious contender for the throne currently inhabited by Wes Anderson as king of the goofball indie comedy. Anderson better watch his back.

Frothygirlz rating 8.5/10.

Watch the first seven minutes of  The Brothers Bloom with an intro from the director here (it’s awesome).

posted 7:26 am


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