June 30, 2009

The Brothers Bloom

So tonight I finally saw Rian Johnson's follow-up to the terrific Brick. This time out he's got a cast of luminaries, a bigger budget, and a host of locations in Central and Eastern Europe, all used toward telling a con tale, or perhaps the tale about tales. The film, which many have understandably compared to a Wes Anderson work, looks fabulous. The sets, the costumes, the locations - it all gives off a scent of a moneyed yet seedy world that exists out of, or maybe across, time - and it looks wonderful. I yearned to be aboard the Fidele, on that European train, or in those sumptuous yet decaying buildings. And the clothes! The dialogue is fun and snappy. The acting varies from fine to good. I particularly enjoyed Rachel Weisz's awkward heiress who appears to deeply love yellow Lamborghinis and who among other talents juggles chainsaws. Basically, its component parts are great. And yet ... I don't know that it works. The plot I mean. Nonetheless, even if it's not a great film, and maybe it has failings as a whole, its component parts are of such a high quality that I'm quite glad I went out to see it.

Posted by armand at June 30, 2009 10:44 PM | TrackBack | Posted to Movies


So I watched it again, and I think I liked it even more the second time around. Again I was really impressed with how it's shot (the director said he was inspired by The Conformist), the costumes, the locations (turns out that was Tito's train), the script, and Rachael Weisz. On this viewing I developed a love of Bang-Bang. How can you not love a sumptuously-attired, silent yet sardonic character whose only lines of spoken dialogue are "Campari" and "fuck me"? I also noticed the score a lot more this time - and it's very good. I suppose something else I like about it that I didn't not before is its construction - how it's all about storytelling and sort of philosophical or constructivist questions about "what's real". Anyway, I like it a lot. I'm still a bit less high on its last 20 minutes - but on the whole I think it's excellent.

Posted by: Armand at April 4, 2010 03:47 PM | PERMALINK
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