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Broken Flowers (2005)
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Review Date: December 30, 2005
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Writer: Jim Jarmusch
Producers: Jim Jarmusch, Jon Kilik, Stacey Smith
Actors:
Bill Murray as Don
Jeffrey Wright as Winston
Sharon Stone as Laura
Plot:
An aging lothario (yeah, Bill Murray…just go with it!) wakes up one morning to find his latest girlfriend walking out the door, and a pink letter announcing a 19-year old son he never knew he had, in his mailbox. Unsure about who the letter-writer is, Murray sets out on a semi-road trip – prepared by his enthusiastic neighbor – in an attempt to dwindle the possible mothers-of-his-child down to the one and only. He has five ladies to visit and we’re along for the ride.
Critique:
I’m not sure if I hate this movie’s ending or if I love it (I’ll have to decide by the end of this review), but I do know one thing: I quite enjoyed its journey. I didn’t think I would because I’m not a big fan of director Jim Jarmusch, as I find most of his films to be pretentious and slow-moving, and Bill Murray is really starting to bore me by playing the same character in most of his movies nowadays (the stone-faced, dry-witted guy who doesn’t move much), but somehow I got past both those negative preconceptions and really got into this story, which is an intriguing concept, to say the least. Years after you’ve dated/slept with a certain amount of women, you decide to go on a road trip and re-visit them. It’s probably not the brightest idea in the world, but it’s one that as a so-called “adult”, I too have imagined every now and again, as have many other people who find themselves at a crossroads in their lives. Of course, most “real people” never really go through with the phone calls or the visits, because let’s face it…it’s embarrassing and you’ll likely look like a desperate fool, but in the case of this film, the premise is such that it doesn’t come off as goofy, so there I was, stoked to see how each woman would react to seeing this so-called “Don Juan” after all their years apart. Needless to say, all of the women in question reacted quite differently and in my opinion, in entertaining fashions, to Murray’s visits. The film does move slow as per most of Jarmusch’s presentations, but it’s actually soothing, as we sit next to Murray as he drives/flies from one ex-girlfriend to the next (note how we’re always looking ahead through the front view window and then looking back through the rear-view mirrors…get it, looking ahead/looking back…natch!).

Most of the ladies are also played by solid actresses (although their parts are really “glorified cameos”, if you ask me) and the interaction between them and Murray was compelling, if only because it made me wonder about what their relationship could have been like originally. The film’s also got an obvious mystery element underlying all of the trips (Murray’s trying to figure out which one of the ladies sired his child), but if you know your “indie flicks” as much as the next guy, you should know by now that the mystery will not be resolved A-B-C as per most Hollywood movies. I also really enjoyed this film’s soundtrack, the excellent supporting part playing by Jeffrey Wright and yeah, you know what…now that I’ve had time to think about the ending…I really liked that too! Initially, I hated its abrupt nature, but as per most “indie flicks”, it’s deeper than that, baby. So I sat, thought about it all a little bit more and got something deeper out of it, which was nice…for a change. The film is definitely not for everyone, but if you’re like me and missing “relationship movies” in this day and age, you’ll likely appreciate this little ditty as it features an interesting concept, charming performances, dry yet effective humor, underlying questions and suspense (although no easy answers), an awesome little cutie Lolita played by Alexis Dziena and yeah…a little existentialism for anyone wondering about the meaning of their lives or their past.
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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1:15AM on 01/27/2006

Not Quite What I Expected

All in all it was a good movie, Bill Murray did a great job with his character, who is half Hugh Hefner, and half Bob Harris (Murray in lost in Translation) From the begining it is a slow paced movie, but still very good, his road trip is the higlight of the movie, my favorite is the akward time when he is visiting former lover Laura (Shannon Stone) The onyl thing I am not sure of is how I feel about the ending, I dont know if I am disappointed or if I enjoy it cause it is fitting. Dispite that
All in all it was a good movie, Bill Murray did a great job with his character, who is half Hugh Hefner, and half Bob Harris (Murray in lost in Translation) From the begining it is a slow paced movie, but still very good, his road trip is the higlight of the movie, my favorite is the akward time when he is visiting former lover Laura (Shannon Stone) The onyl thing I am not sure of is how I feel about the ending, I dont know if I am disappointed or if I enjoy it cause it is fitting. Dispite that I enjoyed the movie and recommend it to everyone.
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3:41AM on 01/26/2006
This is definitely a slow-paced film, but far from boring. Bill Murray's journey was more than worth the ride, thanks in part to his understated performance, which despite feeling like his work in LOST IN TRANSLATION, helped bring me into the story. I also loved each of the women in question here, as each actress brought their own qualities to their small parts (Tilda Swinton was unrecognizable and Sharon Stone looked GREAT!). All in all, I had a good time watching this little film.
This is definitely a slow-paced film, but far from boring. Bill Murray's journey was more than worth the ride, thanks in part to his understated performance, which despite feeling like his work in LOST IN TRANSLATION, helped bring me into the story. I also loved each of the women in question here, as each actress brought their own qualities to their small parts (Tilda Swinton was unrecognizable and Sharon Stone looked GREAT!). All in all, I had a good time watching this little film.
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12:15AM on 12/31/2005
I find this movie quite interesting. Bill Murray gives an incredible performance, not because of his kind of acting, but because this specific story is perfect for the stone-faced Murray.

And, of course Jarmusch is incredible in his directing. Not much to say about it. Very good movie!
I find this movie quite interesting. Bill Murray gives an incredible performance, not because of his kind of acting, but because this specific story is perfect for the stone-faced Murray.

And, of course Jarmusch is incredible in his directing. Not much to say about it. Very good movie!
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8:11PM on 12/30/2005

blah

Hated it, started out great and dwindled into a storyling I couldnt give 2 squirts about. IMHO.
Hated it, started out great and dwindled into a storyling I couldnt give 2 squirts about. IMHO.
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2:13PM on 12/30/2005

Hell Yes.

Damn, I loved this movie, but the experience of watching it with the particular audience I was with kinda soured the whole thing (though just a little).

I'm only 24, but I've come to love "slow-paced" movies (they can't all Bruckheimer or Rob Cohen flicks that move so fast so as to make you quickly forget how much they suck) that actually take the time to draw out the story (not just with filler material, Peter Jackson). The audience I was with was all adults--I'd say ages 30-late 50s. I
Damn, I loved this movie, but the experience of watching it with the particular audience I was with kinda soured the whole thing (though just a little).

I'm only 24, but I've come to love "slow-paced" movies (they can't all Bruckheimer or Rob Cohen flicks that move so fast so as to make you quickly forget how much they suck) that actually take the time to draw out the story (not just with filler material, Peter Jackson). The audience I was with was all adults--I'd say ages 30-late 50s. I figured these people would appreciate a movie like this; of subtlety and intimacy.

This particular pair of chubby old hens next to me wouldn't shut the hell up and did "MST3K" on the flick. Out of, I dunno, manners, I didn't cuss the old bitches out. Well...that and the fact that (being the only Black guy in the audience) cussing out to old White broads would've most likely got me arrested, hand-cuffed, shot, locked-up and chastised (though not necessarily in that order).

This is the true definition of an "Adult Movie": a film that appeals to a mature and refined sensibility and doesn't talk down to its audience. Jim Jarmusch has never disappointed me and I look forward to more films like this from any director (hell, "The Weather Man" was gem, too).
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7:19AM on 12/30/2005
I saw this movie back in August - here's the review I wrote back then:

This movie had me until the end. I really didn't like the end. It basically had no conclusion and was meant to leave the viewer with some kind of philosophical question. It didn't work for me.

But like I said, the movie was pretty good until there. The soul searching, the symbolism about the past, the characters that surround the great Bill Murray. All of it was either interesting, thought-provoking, or funny as hell.
I saw this movie back in August - here's the review I wrote back then:

This movie had me until the end. I really didn't like the end. It basically had no conclusion and was meant to leave the viewer with some kind of philosophical question. It didn't work for me.

But like I said, the movie was pretty good until there. The soul searching, the symbolism about the past, the characters that surround the great Bill Murray. All of it was either interesting, thought-provoking, or funny as hell.

I wouldn't be surprised if Murray got another nomination. He plays a character with a complicated past that catches up to him and he wants to investigate a bit. The scenes where he meets up with some of his exes does entertain and/or enlighten about Murray's character. It also provides for some laughs, surprises, and some pretty shocking moments. There are also some really great scenes prior to and after Murray's meetings - it just shows Murray in his car or in his hotel room(s) and just collecting his thoughts, or just standing/sitting there observing his surroundings.

Now the pacing of the movie is slooooow. But it works well for the flick. There are a few scenes where absolutely nothing happens. It's just Bill sitting on his couch. I'm not kidding. The music in some of the driving scenes adds to the feel of the movie. Don't expect a fast paced movie filled with Bill Murray's sarcasm or wit (I think he's done with that part of his career, for the most part anyway).

But the ending completely took me out of the movie. It had a great pace and great story going and then it just puts this idea of incompleteness and futility. Yes, the past is gone but damn, it's not freakin' lost.

I have to mention Murray's costar Jeffrey Wright - he is hilarious. The other performances are great as well and the movie is a good watch; I just wish the ending wasn't so depressing and/or sudden.
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