Films: The Brothers Bloom

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  • The Brothers Bloom
    Thursday, November 13, 7:30 PM
    Ellie Caulkins Opera House

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The Brothers Bloom  {The Brothers Bloom}

The Brothers Bloom

USA, 2008, 109 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Romantic Comedy
Program: Red Carpet Presentations
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Rian Johnson
Producer: (executive) Douglas Hansen, (executive) Wendy Japhet, Ram Bergman, James D. Stern
Editor: Gabriel Wrye
Screenwriter: Rian Johnson
Cinematographer: Steve Yedlin
Principal Cast: Adrien Brody, Rachel Weisz, Mark Ruffalo, Rinko Kikuchi
US Distributor: Summit Entertainment

In his sophmore feature outing, writer-director Rian Johnson (Brick) deploys a dynamic cast—including Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody, and Mark Ruffalo—in a rollicking, round-the-world road movie about a pair of dedicated con men who think they’re taking an innocent New Jersey heiress for a long ride. But who’s really behind the wheel? Or at the rudder? Or leading the caravan?

Recalling The Fortune (in which Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty get flummoxed by Stockard Channing), both versions of The Ladykillers, and various classic screwball comedies, The Brothers Bloom is a high-spirited misadventure that careens from one glamorous locale to another—St. Petersburg, Athens, Montenegro, Prague—with hardly a pause at the local currency exchange. The perfectly chosen supporting cast includes Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) as a batty explosives specialist named Bang Bang, Robbie Coltrane (of Harry Potter fame) as a shady Belgian art curator, and the great Maximilian Schell (Judgment at Nuremberg) as the one-eyed mentor who first schooled our wayward heroes in larceny.

Running counter to the breakneck pace of the comedy is, however, a strain of yearning. In fraternal swindlers who were once rootless foster children, we see real unhappiness. It emerges just as their elaborate scheme to make one more big score—involving tough smugglers, priceless books, and a series of dank chambers below a castle—begins to unravel. Their salvation? The unexpected charm and startling intelligence of their supposed victim, now a comrade-in-arms.

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