8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Blossoms in the Desert,
This review is from: Bagdad Cafe  [DVD] (DVD)This is a movie you will either love or hate. If you are looking for plot, action or realism, don't go there. If you love Frank Capra and "It's a Wonderful Life", this movie is for you. Percy Adlon is a German indie director with a strange sense of humour (well, he is German after all) but a warm feeling for humanity and its potential.
A German couple quarrel in the desert, leaving the wife Jasmin (Marianne Sagerbrecht) stranded; she staggers to the run-down Bagdad Cafe by the highway, checks into the sleazy motel, and proceeds to change the lives of the dead-end no-hopers who are washed up there. Chief among these is the sour Brenda (CCH Pounder), who runs the cafe and drags her feckless husband, dreamy son and flighty daughter in her wake. More than that would be unfair to say, except to indicate that Magic is important to the minimal plot, and Magic is the business of the film. At one point a character says, "The magic has gone," and that's true both literally and metaphorically.
The performances have been criticised elsewhere here, but I see nothing wrong with them at all. Perhaps more importantly, everyone looks perfect for their parts, with the exception of Jack Palance who is under-used.
For the first 20 minutes or so I was frustrated by the jumpy, nudging directorial style which seemed to be trying to say that the movies was funnier than it actually was. In truth it's a bit of a slow burn, but patience is rewarded as soon as you allow yourself to be drawn towards these oddballs.
Much is unexplained. Why does Marianne decide to stay here? Why is Brenda's husband always watching through binoculars from a nearby hillside? How come Marianne's husband never comes looking for her? How come Brenda's son Salomo (Darren Flagg) happens to have acquired both the sheet music to Bach's Preludes and Fugues in the middle of nowhere, and the ability to play them? (Where the hell would anybody go to school?) These things will either worry you or they won't. I say, relax and enjoy.