- Jim Jarmusch
- Reviewed by
- Josť Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Monday, November 14, 2005
Don Johnson (Bill Murray) is a rich middle-age man whose latest girlfriend, Sherry (Julie Delpy), just left him. Thatís also the day he receives a letter that claims to be from an anonymous ex-flame of his in which she tells him that he has a son whoís on a trip searching for his father. Don then shows the letter to his inquiring neighbor Winston (Jeffrey Wright), who convinces him to go on a trip of his own and visit the women he had relationships with around that time.
Broken Flowers is episodic. It starts by letting us know Don a little bit, just the specific details about his life that tell a lot about him and his loneliness, his closeness and his boredom. Then he goes on a trip in which he visits four women. I donít want to delve into what each character brings to his life at that moment, because itís a pleasure to discover each character just as Don does. Needless to say, all women have gone on to live very different lives, and their reactions towards Donís visit is wildly divergent.
What ultimately holds the movie together is the trip that Don embarks regarding his persona. We see what each woman does to him, we see how he struggles to come to terms with the past and try to bring it back to the present. We see how he comes to realize that life has a lot to offer, and that he is still able to be happy if he goes for it.
Jarmusch fills his movie with carefully constructed scenes full of exquisite details that can be plain informative or simply hilarious. It plays as a comedy, as a matter of fact, but it goes deeper than what the genre implies. Itís got a seriocomic tone, one that never flags.
About the ending, I wonít spoil it for you, but Iíve got to say itís better than I expected, and also surprising. I liked it.
Murray is phenomenal. Weíve seen this performance before, but he does it so well that itís impossible not to fall for him all over again. And the women are terrific, despite limited screen time by all. Sharon Stone is delightful and sexy, Frances OíConnor is letter-perfect, Jessica Lange amazes and Tilda Swinton goes unrecognizable. ChloŽ Sevigny also appears among a large cast that fill their roles with gusto.
Bittersweet and poignant slice of lifeÖ
ďThat was quite an outfit you werenít wearing earlier.Ē
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