the brothers bloom

Sunday, May 24, 2009 |

Saw a truly gorgeous movie tonight (well, last night technically, but as it’s still dark it counts).  Drove over to the Tara, through one of Atlanta’s red-light districts on Cheshire Bridge Road, and saw The Brothers Bloom.  It’s an affecting, humorous, and humanity-affirming caper flick, with touches of the unbelievable, absurd and romantic thrown in.  Rian Johnson directs Rachel Weisz, Mark Ruffalo, Adrien Brody and Rinko Kikuchi in a fairy tale-like farcical adventure story.  Does that make sense?  Should it work?  No.  But the writing, the casting, the cinematography and the locations combine to pull off the film, and make it beautiful and enjoyable in the process.

Rachel Weisz plays Penelope, an epileptic shadow box photographer.  Ruffalo and Brody are brothers, the ultimate con men, writing elaborate plots and living out the stories and escapades while robbing the rich.  Kikuchi is an enigmatic demolitions expert who is along for the ride.  Penelope is supposed to be the last mark of the last con before the end of the brothers’ collaboration, and the adventure, romance and twists and turns of that unfolding tale are the subject of the film.

But that doesn’t tell you what is so compelling, so hilarious, so off-beat about The Brothers Bloom.  The devil is in the details, as the saying goes.  In this case, it’s the little explosions, the car crashes, the plans gone awry, unexpected villainy, a stolen apple and a felled palm tree which add up to incredible.  None of that will make sense until you see the film for yourself.  I highly recommend that you do.  It will be on my shelf as soon as it comes out on DVD, and I expect to laugh and puzzle over and revel in the artistry and humor and fun of it over and over again.  5 stars!

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