Broken Flowers (2005)

DailyView: Day 325, Movie 466

Bill Murray said that he considered retiring after the making of Broken Flowers because “he felt that it was the best acting performance he could ever give.” Broken Flowers was a very compelling character study and an intriguing mystery.

Bill Murray played Don Johnston, a man who made a fortune in computers and has now retired, regulating to longue around his house. After a fight with his girlfriend Sherry (Julie Delpry) in which she leaves him, a mysterious, unsigned letter arrived claiming to have been from an old girlfriend of Don’s who gave birth to Don’s son two decades before. The letter indicated that his son was going on a road trip to perhaps find Don.

Don initially dismissed this letter until he showed it to his mystery-novel enthusiast neighbor Winston (Jeffrey Wright), who pushed Don to investigate the possibilities and he set up Don’s entire trip. He goes on the trip and checks in on four of his former flames.

The four former girlfriends were played by Sharon Stone, Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange and Tilda Swinton. Each character got progressively worse as the film moved on. All four of them were fantastic and I did not even realize that Penny was Tilda Swinton.

I really did enjoy this movie quite a bit, but I was a little put off by the ending of the film. It came out with such an uncertain resolution that it bothered me a bit. I think that just speaks to how effective the film and Bill Murray were in establishing the movie’s central mystery. I wanted to know more about each of the girlfriends, especially those last couple who seemed to have something unspoken going on.

The Jeffrey Wright/Bill Murray pairing was also excellently carried off. Nearly opposites of each other, the dynamic really helped to create the lure of the mystery.

Directed by Jim Jarmusch, Broken Flowers is a great film with a engaging hook of a story with some top notch acting from a high level cast.

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