Monday, May 01, 2006

Broken Flowers

The Macon Film Guild has just been on a roll lately.

Last month, Camp Bacon and friends brought us "Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story" less than a month after it left theaters in Atlanta, and now a little later but just as welcome comes Jim Jarmusch's "Broken Flowers" Sunday, May 14, at the Douglass Theatre.

In it, Bill Murray plays Don Johnston, an avowed batchelor who, at the movie's beginning, gets dumped by the simply stunning Julie Delpy then finds out from an anonymous note that he has a son he's never met who is approaching adulthood.

Think of Murray in "Rushmore" and "Lost in Translation" then go even further and you're approaching Johnston. At the onset he appears to have given up on life, is just kind of dead to everything around him.

It takes the urging of pesky neighbor Winston, the very funny Jeffrey Wright, to get him to take off in a rented taurus and slowly rediscover what he has wrought and perhaps meet his offspring. The scenes with the two of them, as the energetic Winston, a wannabe mystery writer, maps out the whole course for Murray's deadpan Johnston, is some of the funniest work of Jarmusch's long career.

On his mission, Johnston meets a quartet of women from his past, starting with Sharon Stone as a widow with a thing for race car drivers and a none-too-shy daughter (named Lolita, though she's blissfully unaware of the joke.) You'll also meet Frances Conroy, who is now one half a husband-wife team of Realtors, Jessica Lange, who has given up on men all together, perhaps because of Don, and Tilda Swinton, who lives in a trailer with some bikers who give Don a rather rude welcome.

If you've seen any Jarmusch movies, you know that Don will learn some things about himself but nothing will be wrapped up in a neat package at the end. This one's all about the journey, and if you choose to take it you'll find plenty of the quirky characters and awkward situations that drive Jarmusch's best work.


themarina said...

I was extremely disappointed by this movie. It was excruciatingly slow and you don't really learn anything about the character (at least I didn't). Not to mention that there's no "closure", the movie just sort of ends. However, Jeffrey Wright was brilliant.

Reel Fanatic said...

Hi Marina ... A lot of people had that reaction ... I agree there is a complete lack of "closure," but I like it anyway

themarina said...

Good to know I wasn't the only that "missed it". I think I went in with high expectations too. Doens't always help!

That Little Round-Headed Boy said...

Nothing's wrapped up at the end, because there is NO ENDING! That colored much of the good will I felt during the movie, I'm afraid.