Broken Flowers Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 26, 2007
Still-life with Bill. Low-key semi-detached and floaty. A little sad, a little funny and a lot of driving - at least there were good tunes for the ride.
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2006
The films of Jim Jarmusch are offbeat and quirky. This film continues that tradition. It also continues a recent trend of Bill Murray playing a sad sack character who is miserable and a mess, much like Jack Nicholson's character in About Schmidt. This film is a good one, and, while there's nothing really wrong with it per se, it's not great either. It just feels like things are set to autopilot. The performances from a wonderful cast are great though, as is the art direction/set design. I also liked the music, especially the inclusion of an excerpt from the song "Dopesmoker" by Sleep. Had I not already seen a handful of other films similar to this one, I would probably say that this film is absolutely brilliant. As it is though, I liked it, but think my enjoyment is mostly due to being a fan.
Super Reviewer
October 27, 2011
Jarmusch's gets back to true form after two mediocre projects. Bill Murray puts in yet another great performance.
Super Reviewer
½ July 2, 2012
"You are the Don Juan."

The film focuses on an aging "Don Juan" who embarks on a cross-country journey to track down four of his former lovers after receiving an anonymous letter stating that he has a son.

A carefully constructed but also indulgent film. It's a mix of the symbolically heavy Punch Drunk Love and the inexplicable metaphor of Mulholland Drive. Luckily it's a more straightforward story than either of these films and it's successful as a comedy, full of jokes and good humour. Key to this latter point is, of course, Bill Murray, for whom Jarmusch claims to have written the screenplay. His brand of almost inscrutably dry humour shouldn't really make one laugh on paper, but it works magnificently in the event. He's gifted a partner as straight-guy in Jeffrey Wright's Winston, whose meticulously created accent is worth the viewing alone. The film is a mixture of road trip and whodunnit, using the mystery of the letter that prompts Murray's trip to drive the rite-of-passage he takes. By the end there are no realist answers to realist questions (the provenance of the letter(s) is probably the same as that of the video tapes in Michael Haneke's Cache) but Don may well be enlightened nonetheless.
Super Reviewer
½ December 24, 2007
I had a hard time making up my mind about how I felt about Broken Flowers, but after much self-debate, I think I've made up my mind. I think the thing about Broken Flowers that makes me want to like it so much is the performance of Bill Murray. People will say that he doesn't really do much in this film, but if you pay close attention, his character is subtle and his actions are true to it. You really get the feeling that he's someone who's gotten to the point in their life when they feel regret and realize how alone they are. You get a sense that he sees the mistakes of his past and that he's trying to overcome them, even if he doesn't really want to. His character is far more interesting than those around him, which is where I think the film fails. Everyone he visits in the story seem to be just as successful as he is financially, but they're also lost emotionally, giving him no counter-balance as a character, and not much to feed off of. He seems surprised by it when he meets them, but I just don't buy into it. That said, this movie isn't a waste of time, by no means. It's a character journey, even if the character doesn't really get anywhere. It's pretty unorthodox, and mostly still, but you feel sorry for him and that's the main appeal of the film to me.
Super Reviewer
December 9, 2011
Don Johnston: Well, the past is gone, I know that. The future isn't here yet, whatever it's going to be. So, all there is, is this. The present. That's it.

"Sometimes life brings some strange surprises."

Broken Flowers is a film that I just found nothing likable about it. It's an offbeat indie film, but not in a way that would make it, either funny or emotional. The film is dull and pretty boring, which is a first for me when Bill Murray is starring. There was only one scene I actually liked and that was the very last one in the film. Other than that I was just waiting for the movie to end.

A bachelor, Don, gets a letter from an anonymous lover of the past right after breaking up with his most recent girlfriend. In the letter, he is told that he has a son who is going to come looking for him and that son is 19 years old. Don has a few ideas of who the mystery mother of his child could be, so he tracks each and everyone of them down and meets with them. Some of the meetings turn out well, others awkward, and others horrible.We are never really told who the mother is in so many words, but we know anyway.

It isn't a horribly made or acted movie, it's just one I found no enjoyment in watching. I didn't get any satisfaction out of the subtle independent filmmaking in this case, like I normally do. That was somewhat surprising to me because I normally love movies like this.
paul o.
Super Reviewer
½ October 25, 2011
Dry humor+Jim Jarmusch = Hilarious and deep film about self-identity.

This film also proves that Bill Murray is a HUGE hipster, which is pretty awesome!
Super Reviewer
½ February 3, 2011
Broken Flowers is basically a film in which we follow around Don, played by the brilliant Bill Murray as he tries to find out which of his many ex lovers has secretly had a son by him and sent him a letter.

A slow paced comedy that in a strange way is heart warming as we watch on as Don battles against wanting more from his emotionally empty life. Throughout the feature you cannot take your eyes away from Murray as we laugh, cry and cringe through his adventure only to end up where he started and none the better for it.

An empty finish at first leaves you shocked but its the realisation by Don that he wants more without him knowing that makes the journey worth while.

"That was quite an outfit you weren't wearing earlier. "
Super Reviewer
½ August 9, 2009
Cast: Bill Murray, Julie Delpy, Jeffrey Wright, Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange, Sharon Stone, Tilda Swinton, Heather Alicia Simms, Brea Frazier, Mark Webber, Christopher McDonald

Director: Jim Jarmusch

Summary: After being dumped by another girlfriend (Julie Delpy), serial bachelor Don Johnston (Bill Murray) vows he'll be alone forever. But when a mysterious unsigned letter arrives in the mail, he's surprised to learn he has a 19-year-old son. With no idea who the mother is, Don sets out on a cross-country journey to confront his past, surprising a series of old flames along the way.

My Thoughts: "A character study film that moves at a slow pace, sometimes unbearable pace, but in an artistic way. It settles you into the surrounding's, and most of it is quite gloomy. The main character, Don Johnston, is a lonely sad individual. The feel of the film is depressing. It has some comedic relief, not a lot though. You meet some very interesting characters along his journey (that being his ex's). Each one of his ex's are very unique and quite different from one another. This movie also shows you that what you left in the past should remain in the past, hence why it's called the past. That includes the people you leave behind. Things are meant to change. It's unrealistic to live in the past or to predict what may come in the future, so as the movie says, what matters is now, the present. Great film, but the pace killed me. I am usually patient with slow moving films, I guess just not tonight."
Super Reviewer
½ October 15, 2010
I went into this film torn. I never heard about it but I am a big fan of Bill Murray, so I did expect good things. I left it feeling pretty much the same way I entered it. This film was a lot of fun to watch, but it left me wanting more. I really liked how they took you through the main characters life, but I thought it was a little too stretched out for me. They took a very well done short film and stretched it out to a short feature. It kept me wondering the entire time what was going to happen to the protagonist and in the end even though what I wanted or thought might happen didn't happen, I still left satisfied with the outcome. If you are into an alternative style of directing, take a look at this one. It was nice to watch, but is not for everyone.
Super Reviewer
½ April 28, 2007
Haunting, intelligent whimsy from Jarmusch in this tale of an accidental detective that, not quite so accidentally, turns into a detective/noir-style story. An interesting, funny and compelling film to say the least, with a hero perfectly underplayed by Bill Murray.
Super Reviewer
½ June 1, 2008
Bill Murray is an older, former ladies' man who gets an anonymous letter in the mail one day that tells him he has a son from a fling 20 years ago. Unfortunately, he has no idea who sent it, so he narrows it down to 4 possible women and with the help of his Sherlock Holmes wannabe friend (played brilliantly by Jeffrey Wright) he goes on a roadtrip to visit them all and find clues as to which one of them it could be? The movie is very entertaining with Murray's deadpan acting but not laugh out loud funny. Not for everybody, especially those who are looking for a classic Bill Murray comedy.
Super Reviewer
August 18, 2009
Strange movie, but not bad. More than worth seeing for Alexis Dziena's nude scene ô¿ô
Super Reviewer
November 21, 2006
Whle the payoff is unsatisfying, the journey is interesting.
Super Reviewer
½ February 7, 2008
Memorable for its remarkable ability to bore. Slow even for Jarmusch, this plays like what it is: an attempt to cash in on Bill Murray's newly found ability (in Lost in Translation) to play middle age malaise to perfection. There isn't much of a story, and I can't care about Murray's character because he plays it TOO somber.
Super Reviewer
January 21, 2007
Broken Flowers is such a fantastically well-written movie, at least if you forgive it a couple of excesses, like the constant Don Juan references and the young girl who attempts to seduce Bill Murray named Lolita of all things. They're very out-of-place in a screenplay that is otherwise subtle. Broken Flowers's narrative is a disparate mix of tones, inserting Murray into all sorts of emotional zones over the course of his search, and his deadpan performance makes the perfect foil for it all. There are times in the film where he would have a smile so tiny that I didn't even know if it was actually intentional, but it made me laugh nonetheless. The attentive viewer will find a lot to love about his Don.

Jim Jarmusch's story also allows him to trot out a handful of great actresses in glorified cameos, all of them nailing their roles with great success. An unrecognizable Tilda Swinton has a massive impact with just four lines; Frances Conroy speaks volumes with her downplayed, dead-in-the-eyes, "happily married" real estate agent. Seeing the various miseries of all these women in his life is a fantastic way for Jarmusch to put life into perspective for Don, a motif that plays into the ending very intelligently. Why did someone put him up to this journey? The movie makes its suggestions, but ultimately, we are left to our own devices.

Broken Flowers is a fine contribution from Jarmusch, one that washed Mystery Train from my palate and has encouraged me to finish Ghost Dog. The man has a way with film, this sort of elegiac white's fascinating. Art imitating life in the strangest of ways.
Super Reviewer
½ September 24, 2008
When stuff was actually happening, the movie was near perfect. Too many lame driving scenes and GAH! The ending! I get it and all - Don will forever see his son's face everywhere - but that last scene with the traveling boy is just too good to waste on pretentious open-endedness.
Super Reviewer
½ December 31, 2006
A very good film that won't be for everyone. If you liked Lost in translation and like films to do with everyday life, relationships etc you will appreciate this. Otherwise you'll likely to find it too slow and a tad dull.
Super Reviewer
½ June 23, 2008
A sweet gentle quiet film that sees Murray revisiting old lovers in the hope of finding out who is the mother of his hypothetical son. Unlike many episodic adventures such as this, all the different sections are equal, none is better or worse than the other. The performances are incredible examples of subtlety. Within seconds of Murray meeting each woman their faces let us know what their relationship once was and what has happened in the years since they last met. The film is funny, but never quite hilarious and the films only real draw back is that Murrays character is never that interested in his own journey/mystery. He does however offer a wonderfully restrained performance similar to that in Lost in Translation.
Super Reviewer
July 30, 2007
An old and tired playboy with no emotional nor moral bond or tie to somebody or something whatsoever, reluctantly tries to find all that in a road trip through america. Perhaps Jim Jarmusch's most conventional film, but yet it has his undeniable touch, such as the constant motif of the traveler, general feel of subtlety and coldness, minimalism, a good soundtrack and oddly humorous situations.
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