Lara’s Solo Review of The Brothers Bloom

27 Oct

This review is a bit late. The movie was in theaters at the beginning of the summer and it was released on DVD a month ago, but I just watched it. And while I usually wouldn’t review a movie that’s in between the brand new and the classically old, I simply can’t keep my mouth shut after watching this movie. This is an appeal for you, all of you five readers out there, to go out and watch the under-the-radar film The Brothers Bloom.

The Brothers Bloom (and Bang Bang)

The Brothers Bloom

After a life of cons, Bloom (Adrien Brody) tells his brother and fellow fraudster, Stephen (Mark Ruffalo), that he wants to call it quits. Stephen assents to Bloom’s retirement, as long as they can work together, along with their bad-ass, silent associate, Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi), on one last scheme. The last con is to take the money from Penelope (Rachel Weisz), an eccentric, shut-in millionaire. Thus ensues a grab-bag of hilarity, which has an old-time caper feel with modern, indie devices. Though the film seems a bit predictable at times, it is completely enjoyable and a great achievement by sophomore writer/director Rian Johnson.



The Brothers Bloom has a divided audience, with a 62% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Most critics who disliked it slammed the film for the forced nature that comes from its appearance based weightiness. I’m surprised at the response from critics because the comedic timing, the line delivery, and the deliberation behind every shot felt to me like a much more accessible, quicker paced Wes Anderson film. And in the instance of The Brothers Bloom these methods are much more relevant and effective. While the deliberation, the words written across the screen, the meticulous shots, the over-the-top dialogue takes away some of the realism, it completely works for the theme of the movie. For you can’t trust the conmen. You can never tell when you are being tricked by the Bloom brothers, what part of their life is scripted and what is real. The style of the film helps in bringing you out of the stories that the Blooms weave, causing you to constantly question its and their motives.

Through its intricacies and plot-twists, The Brothers Bloom is a game between Rian Johnson and the viewer. And a wacky, pleasurable game at that. You should definitely rent it. Or buy it. Let yourself play.

Wishing I had the talent to collect hobbies,


8 Responses to “Lara’s Solo Review of The Brothers Bloom”

  1. Dara October 27, 2009 at 4:36 pm #

    i loved this movie my favorite part is when Penelope tells Bloom that she thinks he’s constipated in his “f*cking soul,” adding that he has “petrified poop up your soul’s ass.

  2. ben October 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm #

    i loved the review and movie for that matter. i’ve never felt so inclined to wear three piece suits, ride steamer ships, and ride trains throughout europe.

  3. Heather October 27, 2009 at 7:01 pm #

    Lara, Loved the movie and the review of course. Thanks for reminding me I must have this on DVD.

  4. sharon mckendrick October 27, 2009 at 9:26 pm #

    Loved it. Buying it.
    Glad we Rented it.
    Wishing I was married to Rachel Weisz,

  5. Lauren Sportsman October 28, 2009 at 12:14 am #

    Love your blog! Daily reader. Keep up the great work.

  6. Charlie Bucket October 28, 2009 at 10:29 am #

    see how many readers you have?! I have been looking forward to this movie because of my crush on Adrien Brody. But I totally forgot about this movie, and now that you reminded me, I think I’ll go out and rent it!

  7. Canada Chris October 29, 2009 at 3:20 am #

    this movie is crap, this review is crap and you are crap!

    ok, none of those things are true, but there was far too much encouragement down here and i was worried it would all start to go to your head…

  8. Julie October 29, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    Lara — look at me, all commenty and such! I LOVE this movie, and what you have to say about it. After renting The Brothers Bloom, a friend said, “I don’t get it.” He may have said something derogatory about Adrien Brody’s glorious nose.

    And we have not spoken since.

    (Just kidding. Maybe.)

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