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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Will you end up alone and unloved?
A simple movie with a simple message, yeah, its slow moving but got for g'sakes you cant watch Transformers (fast but rubbish) all your life.

I think this movie asks me: what would you do if you were older, and alone, and you discovered you had a son but didnt know who he was or the mother? Would you go looking for him by visiting every one of your...
Published on 22 July 2009 by Hud

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, offbeat and rewarding. Flowers worth picking.
I found `Broken Flowers' to be an extremely entertaining and delightful tale starring Bill Murray in the kind of dry and deadpan role that made `Lost In Translation' such an enjoyable success. Here he plays Don Johnston - an ageing and distant `Casanova'. When dumped by his latest lover Sherry (Julie Delpy) Don's response is to once more accept that the life of a single...
Published on 29 Jun 2006 by Brian G


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Will you end up alone and unloved?, 22 July 2009
By 
This review is from: Broken Flowers [DVD] (DVD)
A simple movie with a simple message, yeah, its slow moving but got for g'sakes you cant watch Transformers (fast but rubbish) all your life.

I think this movie asks me: what would you do if you were older, and alone, and you discovered you had a son but didnt know who he was or the mother? Would you go looking for him by visiting every one of your ex-girlfiends after 20 years? Isnt the past a dead world?

I thought Lost in Translation was boring but here I was hooked because I wanted to see what each of Bill Murrays (Don) ex-girlfriends were like. And how they would react to seeing Don.

I wanted a lovely ending, I wanted reconciliation, I wanted the boy he meets at the end to be his son.... but I think the movie ends as realistically as jarmusch could make it... with no answers. Don reaps what he sowed.... emptiness.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, offbeat and rewarding. Flowers worth picking., 29 Jun 2006
By 
This review is from: Broken Flowers [DVD] (DVD)
I found `Broken Flowers' to be an extremely entertaining and delightful tale starring Bill Murray in the kind of dry and deadpan role that made `Lost In Translation' such an enjoyable success. Here he plays Don Johnston - an ageing and distant `Casanova'. When dumped by his latest lover Sherry (Julie Delpy) Don's response is to once more accept that the life of a single man is meant for him. But his uncomplicated and seemingly tedious life suddenly livens up dramatically when he gets a mysterious pink letter through the post. In it the anonymous writer tells him that he has a 19 year old son who could be looking for him - quite a turn of events for somebody who prefers a low key existence!

At first Don's reaction is not to react. As usual he's willing to sit back and do nothing. But he hasn't allowed for his neighbour and closest friend (and he doesn't have many!) Winston (Jeffrey Wright). Being something of an amateur detective Winston is far more intrigued and excited than Don is by this `mystery' and pushes him to investigate it. Don has no enthusiasm for delving into his past love lives but despite his reluctance he sets off on a journey across the country to call on four `old flames'. These out of the blue visits to each of these very individual and different women bring new surprises for Don as he awkwardly finds himself facing both his past and his present. And it's an absolute delight to follow his progress and watch his discoveries...

The film may have an apparently simple story but thanks to the astute direction of director/writer Jim Jarmusch it's full of depth and interest. It has a wonderfully pleasing feel but is also very touching. Seeing the women who were once big parts of his life has an unexpected impact on the previously jaded Don. As the story unfolds he finds himself awakening and at last becoming in touch with feelings that he either didn't know were there or he'd buried deep. There are lots of offbeat and amusing moments and plenty of tender and poignant ones too. I wont give any more away because the beauty of this film is in watching events take place and enjoying each unexpected turn. Don't expect anything fast paced - it's a story that would be ruined if rushed. Its measured pace allows its subtlety and mood to provide so much charm, warmth and sadness too. Murray excels as the cynical empty loner who goes on a voyage against his wishes and finds out so much about himself and others. Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange, Sharon Stone, and Tilda Swinton as the four former girlfriends all add differing and fascinating cameos.

So many people have criticised the film for lack of pace or action. What's wrong with allowing a tale to develop and letting its pace give us time to enjoy and learn about the characters and motives? A very rewarding film and a thumbs up from me.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars C'est la vie!, 6 Jan 2007
By 
Andy Millward (Tiptree, Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Broken Flowers [DVD] (DVD)
Truly astonishing that reviewers here are so hung up on action and can't appreciate the beauty of Broken Flowers, the deliciously subtle and playful humour, the craft of the director and cinematographer and above all the superb acting from a fine ensemble cast, led by the ever deadpan Bill Murray. Seems some people are uncomfortable with the time and space in which the characters live and breathe in their own quiet way, and also with the ambiguous resolution. Sorry guys, but life's like that! Well, don't watch if you're expecting labarynthine plot twists or ten deaths a minute, but luxuriate in the atmosphere, drink it in. This is not a perfect film but the good things here are totally spellbinding.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to learn nothing, 14 Aug 2006
This review is from: Broken Flowers [DVD] (DVD)
Forgive the rather negative connotations of this title, as this is in fact a very good film. Broken Flowers, however, is not the kind of cinema experience that will be to everybody's liking. If you like a film with a definitive beginning, middle and an end then this is probably not for you. If, on the other hand, you are not frustrated by a film that ask many questions without ever answering them and ends just as it begins, then it is well worth a look.

Don, played expertly by Bill Murray, is a wealthy but lonely man. An aging lothario, he has all the privileges money can buy, but nobody truly special to share it with. As his latest lover walks out on him, he receives and anonymous letter telling him that he has a son. What's more, he has left home to find him. Spurred on by his effervescent neighbour, Winston, Don embarks on a reluctant trip down memory lane to find the mother amongst his numerous ex - loves.

What makes this film so good, in my view, is that it challenges the audience. We know virtually nothing of Don's character, and the sparse script doesn't assist us in this. Nor do we ever find out who the mother is despite clues at every turn. A teenage boy appears at the end, but despite a dialogue with Murray, we are none the wiser

Don is emotionally frozen, seemingly unperturbed by the thought that he may have been a father for some years. Murray projects this with a finely tuned combination of monosyllabic lines and fleeting facial expressions - reminiscent of Richard Geere's deliberately stilted performance in "Unfaithful".

There appear to be two main themes to this film. The first is the Sartrean notion that life is what we make it. We masters of our own destinies and nothing in life is certain except death. Director Jim Marmusch nods at this idea when Murray learns that one of his former loves has since died, and pays an emotional visit to her grave.

The film begins with Murray sitting alone in his spacious house, and ends with him standing alone in the middle of a road with others going off in different directions. You do not need to be a genius to see the symbolic nature of the first and final shot. Further existential weight is added by the dichotomy between Don who is rich yet lives alone, and Winston, who is clearly hard up but has a wife and five children.

Secondly the notion of revisiting the past is brought through. We have probably all wondered at some time what became of our past loves, but very few of us will ever find out. Murray has this dubious privilege, but doesn't like everything he sees. It seems to beg the question - should we keep the past alive or leave it well alone?

This is a very competent film, yet should come with a warning - watching this can seriously damage you patience!
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4.0 out of 5 stars More than melancholy..., 9 April 2010
By 
Luke Downing "LukeeD" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Broken Flowers [DVD] (DVD)
Jim Jarmusch's comedy drama, Broken Flowers, takes us on a melancholy journey of reflection with successful IT businessman Don Johnston (Bill Murray) following a beak up with his latest girlfriend and a mysterious pink letter suggesting a long lost son.
We follow Don as he begrudgingly traces old flames in a half hearted attempt to solve the mystery of the pink letter. One wouldn't be mistaken for thinking this doesn't sound like any classic Bill Murray comedy. Because it isn't. In fact it resonates a tone much more similar to Sophia Coppola's Lost in Translation with its reflective nature and long takes. Murray seems to be growing increasingly more adept in playing the thoughtful straight-backed depressive, something only broken down with the light relief of his best friend, Winston and the various people he meets (including a young girl with an obsession for nudity).
Jarmusch has created a film that works on many different levels; it explores sexuality, the male psyche, American families and, well, life in general. Complex subject matter such as this runs the risk of becoming over intense for the audience but Broken Flowers seems to have pulled it off. This film is far from light entertainment and this should be recognized when viewing. It both challenges and complements the audience's views on the sometimes complicated topics it addresses.
This film has the ability to provide a great nights viewing, providing you're in the mood for it. It's one to watch twice, with some subtle messages that might take another glance as well as some intriguing cameo's that may warrant a trip onto IMDB to really understand.
Jarmusch, a director that could be seen as being a bit inconsistent, has done himself proud here and proven his true creative credentials.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yes it's slow, but who said there was anything wrong with slow?, 10 Dec 2007
By 
Adam D. Bisset (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Broken Flowers [DVD] (DVD)
In this movie

The camerawork is mundane
The characterisation is patchy
The dialogue is simple
The jokes don't come thick and fast
There are no special effects or car chases

But so what - it's a pleasure to watch! All of these things help to draw us into Murray's absurd situation - by the end we feel his pain! (btw - ignore the reviewer who said the movie has no ending - it does, and it's a nice subtle twist)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bill's not broken, 31 May 2006
By 
Geoffrey E. Barnett (Dunedin, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Broken Flowers [DVD] (DVD)
I originally crossed this movie off my watch-list after it was hammered by a critic whose views I respect and often share. She hated the film, in particular Murray's performance. I'm glad I finally gave Bill a chance. His pacing is slow, but measured; exactly right for this character. And it also allows his co-stars to shine brighter. Maybe that was his intention. Sharon Stone and Jessica Lange are particularly brilliant.

I also like the fact that the viewer has to work many things out for themselves. For the observant, there are clues along the way to help determine whodunnit. I haven't been able to get this film out of my head in the days since I saw it. Easily as good as Lost in Translation.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent slow moving drama, 16 April 2008
By 
This review is from: Broken Flowers [DVD] (DVD)
Bill Murray (Groundhog day) stars in Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers, a story about a lonely closed off man who receives a letter from one of his former girlfriends telling him that their son is coming to look for him.

With its great acting, soundtrack and plot, this 2005 romantic drama brings a soft and touching tale about human emotions and finding yourself to the screen in a wonderful way.

Many critics have said that Murray usually plays the same character, a closed off sarcastic but loveable loser, so to speak. As I can see their point, there is no denying that Murray is terrific at what he does. My personal favourite role was in Lost in Translation where he played the closed off actor on a business trip in Tokyo, but this performance is equally as brilliant, with his dead pan expressions and his silence acceptance of situations.

I have never been a huge fan of Jeffery Wright but this was his best role to date. His helper role is well executed and you have to admire his character for what he does for Don, which is a beautiful signifier of friendship and love.

The plot moves along at a slow pace, following Don as he travels around hoping to find clues about the situation. Fantastic realism with strong focus upon relationships and people's lives makes the film brilliant in its drama genre. The slow scenes in the car are brilliant, showing how life goes by brilliantly.

These scenes are made intriguing by the brilliant soundtrack. With songs from Greenhornes, Holly Golightly, Marvin Gaye and Mulatu Astatke there is a slow feel to the moments in the car and in the situations. There is an end by Greenhornes and Golightly is brilliant and really captures the beginning of the film.

This is one film where the ending has many questions but is a wonderful climax to a great drama and is a definite watch.

8.5/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful movie., 12 Jan 2013
By 
Machinehead (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Broken Flowers [DVD] (DVD)
Originally started to watch this on TV a while ago but it was on late and I fell asleep ! What I saw was good enough to provoke me to buy the DVD. An excellent performance by Bill Murray in a movie full of delicious and thought provoking tensions. Story line is unpredictable and unusual with some surprising twists. Highly recommended but it does need attentive viewing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The same but with more deadpan-ness", 9 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Broken Flowers [DVD] (DVD)
Bill Murray's character here really does do similar things to the character in "Lost in Translation". He sits on a couch while the TV or sound system play, with his head cocked to one side in a mildly fed-up way, and you start to wonder what he's thinking. You also find yourself laughing at the silliness of what's going on.

There's plenty of that. He lets life wash over him, but never really seems set on one course of action with any passion. I've known people who bring passion to every small thing they do, who can never be or do anything half-heartedly, and Murray's role here is....the opposite sort of person.

When he receives news that he is a father of a 19 yr old boy, he doesn't know whether to believe it, and looks as though he may well do nothing, out of sheer lassitude. He's surprisingly unbothered by the news that he may well be a parent, neither is he angry with the mother for not telling him. His more motivated neighbour and friend Winstone cajoles him into seeking out his ex-girlfriends and trying to ascertain which the mother is. He even gives him a CD of appropriate music for the road journey

So eventually, he goes on a journey meeting ex-girlfriends. The most expression you ever see on his face is mild suppressed amusement when he meets a teenage girl called Lolita whose flirting is not of the subtle kind. His expressionlessness is a blank slate for you to project what you imagine he might be feeling onto.

By the end I found I cared deeply. Great film

...and yes it is very slow moving. I switched from watching CSI to this, which reminds me of the time one Christmas I watched Star Wars, then put on Brideshead Revisited, and fidgeted with impatience for a while.
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Broken Flowers [DVD]
Broken Flowers [DVD] by Jim Jarmusch (DVD - 2006)
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