The Netflix Report

Movie reviews from my Netflix queue. Highly personal and opinionated!

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Broken Flowers

Ugh. Bill Murray continues his experiments in minimalism to the point where he carries this entire movie with approximately eighteen lines of dialog and three changes of facial expression. Look for him in his next film where he plays the leading role of a table lamp.

There are no spoilers to give away, so I’ll lay out the plot quickly. Bill is a withdrawn (Hah! Understatement!) well-off bachelor who seems to have had many girlfriends in his past. One writes him an anonymous letter saying that he has a 19-year-old son he never knew. His buddy presses him to go meet the girlfriends from that period who could potentially be the mother.

His friend gives him travel bookings and many pages of MAPQUEST printouts. Bill spends time on airplanes (reviewing his MAPQUEST printouts) and in rental cars (looking at his MAPQUEST printouts). He sees the ex girlfriends and probably feels some internal emotion at the path their lives have taken. Or maybe not. All we really know is that MAPQUEST is very important to him.

Jim Jarmusch directs the film with a quiet intensity and concentration on details. The color pink is important. Focusing on a half-eaten chicken at the dinner table is important. Shots of rural tree-lined roads seem to be incredibly important. Possibly because the growth of the trees matches the speed of the plot.

At the end of the film, we get the requisite 360-degree pan shot around Bill Murray’s sphinxlike visage. Then you can watch the special features which include a fascinating bonus featurette montage of clapper shots taken before each scene of the movie. Someone must have thought that was just astonishingly clever. They didn’t ask me.

Oh, by the way… I loved Lost In Translation, so you can’t use that as a litmus test of me not liking this “kind” of movie. Parents may not want the kiddies to see the one shot of completely gratuitous female full frontal nudity that contributes nothing to the plot. I strongly encourage you to not show this movie to your children, your spouse, your friends, or yourself.


At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just watched it this weekend. This review is more interesting than the movie. Actually, the gratuitous nudity is really the best part.


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