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Overall Rating

Awesome: 25.58%
Worth A Look39.53%
Average: 17.44%
Pretty Bad: 5.81%
Total Crap: 11.63%

8 reviews, 38 user ratings

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Broken Flowers
[] Buy posters from this movie
by William Goss

"A Bittersweet Bouquet"
4 stars

Bill Murray continues his recent trend of effective minimalist performances as an aging Don Juan prompted to visit a few former flames in 'Broken Flowers,' the latest from Jim Jarmusch.

Soon after his latest fling (Julie Delpy) departs, Don Johnston (Murray) receives an anonymous pink letter, declaring that he had fathered a son years earlier and that said child may be looking for him. Encouraged by his Ethiopian neighbor/amateur detective Winston (Jeffrey Wright), Don proceeds to locate each of the five women who may have sent him the letter.

Murray manages to keep his role relatively low-key, even compared to his roles in Lost in Translation and The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. His deadpan delivery and subtle nuances become the source for the majority of the filmís humor and heart. However, every actress manages to hold her own opposite Murray. From Sharon Stone as a NASCAR widow with a teenage daughter deservedly named Lolita, to a nearly unrecognizable Tilda Swinton, all of them deliver terrific performances with each individual role. Frances Conroy appears as a stiff realtor who, with her fellow realtor and husband (Christopher McDonald), is especially concerned about water becoming more valuable than oil or gold.

The filmís strongest understatement occurs when Don visits Carmen (Jessica Lange), a self-proclaimed animal communicator. With a few select moments, the brief appearance of Carmenís receptionist (Chloe Sevigny) speaks volumes with the smallest amount of dialogue. Wright, a relentlessly appealing character actor, makes the outgoing Winston a worthy foil to Murrayís dull Don. It is Winston himself who takes the liberty of planning Donís excursion, even providing him with a custom CD to listen to in whichever rental car he is currently occupying (ďIím a stalker in a Taurus,Ē Don groans over the phone).

Writer/director Jarmusch keeps matters relatively low-key on his end as well. As Donís journey progresses, each reunion is reduced in both length and glee. A soundtrack dominated by recurring Ethiopian jazz numbers seems appropriately eccentric for the proceedings. The film takes its time between scenes, and while a slow pace can be satisfying, there are several points that border on the lethargic.

By the end, Don (and the audience) arrives at the inevitable conclusion. However, in both cases, itís not so much about the destination as it is the journey, and 'Broken Flowers' is a strangely satisfying journey in that manner. Itís certainly better than a swig of oil.

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originally posted: 10/25/05 15:13:52
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User Comments

1/17/08 Bitchflaps Glacial and sedate. Jarmusch once again proves to be a mere shadow of his former talents. 2 stars
1/03/08 Cinesnob Interesting film--but Bill Murray as a great lover? Come on! 3 stars
6/01/07 ES There's really nothing to this movie, it's completely forgettable and devoid of interest 2 stars
3/28/07 fools♫gold Not as mindblowing as Lost in Translation and Man Who Knew Too Little, but still a great. 5 stars
12/21/06 David Pollastrini The Lolita chick was hot! 3 stars
9/08/06 Thomas Semesky I expected better. 3 stars
8/23/06 Larry Bryant Murray is outstanding, as usual, and loved the supporting cast (although most only came)oI. 4 stars
7/12/06 Marty i really liked Lost in Translation but this one was eh 3 stars
5/30/06 Marce Interesting... 4 stars
5/10/06 millersxing Jeffrey Wright is the best of a stellar ensemble . Jarmusch provokes viewer reflection. 4 stars
4/04/06 Sammie Read great movie! 5 stars
3/21/06 Jen Dull; unfinished; utterly and completely boring. What a waste. 1 stars
3/07/06 Annie G Another movie where Bill Murray seems catatonic ... is that the only way he can act now? 3 stars
2/20/06 Indrid Cold Leads to a satisfyingly ambiguous and meloncholy ending, but pretty darn boring throughout. 3 stars
1/18/06 Elza Hudson BORING, DREADFUL, CRAP! 1 stars
1/18/06 greensweater yawnfest - DVD seemed to be missing a scene at the end :) 2 stars
1/17/06 Sam Boring beyond BELIEF! Bill, try making a facial expression, or are you on Quaaludes? 1 stars
1/15/06 Perry Mason Murray is awesome. All the actresses are awesome. The ending rocks. Yeah it's awesome. 5 stars
11/22/05 Kurtis J. Beard Very good film. Murray is a revalation. 4 stars
10/24/05 Stan Arnold One of the worst films I've ever seen 1 stars
10/21/05 Morten damn why dont they warn people about the ending, (the ending makes the movie worthless) 1 stars
9/07/05 Betty Davis I was most disappointed...the naked teenager was very distasteful. Also, no real ending. 1 stars
8/30/05 lillian needed more emotion incertain areaa 4 stars
8/28/05 jcjs ok, nothing compared to 'lost in translation'...dead pan Murray, slow 'pastizing' 4 stars
8/28/05 malcolm insightful. murray has come a long way. a boneheaded mission though. 3 stars
8/28/05 Caiphn Not for everyone. 3 stars
8/27/05 Maalstrom Interesting story that doesn't finish but the movie is all about character. Rather Moving. 4 stars
8/26/05 Likaswisi Jean Tender, intellectual and funny. Great performances- Wright steals the show. 4 stars
8/25/05 Mike If the main character doesn't care about his past, why should we? A total farce. 1 stars
8/23/05 Kathy So bad that when it was over strangers talked to each other about how bad it was. 1 stars
8/21/05 Don Phillips 30 minutes of shots of Murray driving a car or sitting on a plane. Rest is no good! 1 stars
8/17/05 Kathy Watson Waste of 1 hr 45 min...the audience was very disappointed!! 2 stars
8/16/05 Jim The Movie Freak a middle-aged version of High Fidelity with a perfect ending. Tad overrated still great! 4 stars
8/13/05 Mark Not a work of art, but a decent entertainment 3 stars
8/12/05 bonnie mcfadden come on! I was thinking about my auction on eBay half the time! 2 stars
8/03/05 Elitza Premiered in TC, MI--great flick! 5 stars
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  05-Aug-2005 (R)
  DVD: 03-Jan-2006



Directed by
  Jim Jarmusch

Written by
  Jim Jarmusch

  Bill Murray
  Jeffrey Wright
  Frances Conroy
  Sharon Stone
  Jessica Lange
  Tilda Swinton

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