|Genre: Comedy, On The Road|
Tagline: Sometimes life brings some strange surprises.
Plot: The resolutely single Don has just been dumped by his latest lover, Sherry (Julie Delpy). Don yet again resigns himself to being alone and left to his own devices. Instead, he is compelled to reflect on his past when he receives by mail a mysterious pink letter. It is from an anonymous former lover and informs him that he has a 19-year-old son who may now be looking for his father.
Don is urged to investigate this “mystery” by his closest friend and neighbor, Winston (Jeffrey Wright), an amateur sleuth and family man. Hesitant to travel at all, Don nonetheless embarks on a cross-country trek in search of clues from four former flames (Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange, Sharon Stone, and Tilda Swinton). Unannounced visits to each of these unique women hold new surprises for Don as he haphazardly confronts both his past and, consequently, his
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In the kind of angst-weighted role that's become his specialty, Murray delivers wonderfully dry comic moments as a weary but willing traveler. "Broken Flowers" ends on a pleasingly poignant note without relinquishing its gentle absurdity.
-- (Boxoffice Magazine)
BROKEN FLOWERS is that dichotomy of emotions on a larger scale. The characters may be dead serious, but they are, unwittingly, caught up in a story that makes them the punch-line of a cosmic joke. Jarmusch may not give us, or his characters, a way out ofthat, but he does let us, if not them, luxuriate in the farce of it all.
--Andrea Chase (Killer Movie Reviews)
For a film in which props, set design and costumes must instantly reveal character, Jarmusch's production team has done a bang-up job. Music plays a role too as Winston gives Don a CD for his journey that contains what can be described as jazzy detectivemusic.
-- (Hollywod Reporter)
Jarmusch's narrative setups are often artificial and implausible, but his stories are usually charming anyway because the sense of character runs deeper than plot.
Those who enjoyed Sophia Coppola's Lost in Translation or Alexander Payne's About Schmidt should be able to appreciate Bill Murray in this more subdued role, although the film's slow nature and the amount of time it takes to get going might turn some of Murray's longtime fans off a bit.
Though a piece of the puzzle as opposed to the big picture, Broken Flowers is itself a smaller piece in a larger philosophy. It's not quite Larry Darrell's journey to a mountaintop, but damned if it's not getting there.
Does Don find his son? That would be telling, and while this isn't one of the most compelling movies of the year, but it's one chock full of really winning performances, and is definitely worth a bargain matinee.
“Broken Flowers” is a nice return to form for Jarmusch, for his quirky, casual style enlivens the material agreeably, and often hilariously, making for one of his best films to date.
--Brian Orndorf (eFilmCritic.com)
Hard-core fans may be slightly disappointed that he's decided to paint in more familiar colors than usual, but Broken Flowers remains recognizably his. A-
... sly and sardonic series of reflective images, resounding forward and back along literal roads not taken.
--Shari L. Rosenblum (CineScene)
|Broken Flowers won't satisfy mainstream audiences looking for easy resolution, but Jarmusch rightfully refuses to make the films that Hollywood demands. To have all the loose ends tie up neatly here would make the film ring false, as it satisfies the palate with its quirky character. |
In Broken Flowers, the roads that Don Johnston drives all look the same—anonymous, like his inner life. The music, especially a jazz tune called "Yerkemo Stew" by Mulatu Astatke, suggests a private-eye movie in which the gumshoe is going in circles.
I have no idea what "Broken Flowers" is supposed to be, beside an inconsequential study in awkward reunions. "This whole thing is a farce, a fiasco" says Murray's character at some point, and I can't help but feel that this is a critique of the film as awhole.
--Kevin N. Laforest (Montreal Film Journal)
Still, for anyone that’s not a fan of Murray’s recent work, “Broken Flowers” will come out looking more like a clone of “Lost in Translation” than anything original.