Runners-Up 2008: #9 – ‘The Brothers Bloom’

12.28.08 9 years ago


9. “The Brothers Bloom”

Following a lukewarm reception at the Toronto Film Festival, Summit moved this one to a May opening date. Two things occur to me regarding this. First, screw the reaction out of Toronto. This isn’t a festival film, precious and dignified. Far from it. Rian Johnson’s second film is a rowdy road comedy, a brotherly buddy movie, and a sweet daffy love story all disguised as a con man movie. In reality, the cons are the least important part of the film, a mere excuse to pinball all these characters off one another.  Ever since “The Sting,” this genre has been an excuse to build a mousetrap and set it off, which can certainly be fun. But “The Brothers Bloom” isn’t trying to con you at all. It’s heartfelt and earnest, and if Summit thinks they can stand one more date change, can I urge you to consider Valentine’s Day? Really sell the shit out of the interplay between Adrien Brody and Rachel Weisz, who does some of the loosest, warmest work of her career here. Everyone looks like they’re having a blast, but I particularly fell for Rinko Kikuchi as Bang Bang, a very quiet little eccentric who packs a big punch, sort of like Harpo Marx if he were a really cute Asian chick. I love the look of the film, the sort of cartoon ballet that Johnson pulls off with it. It’s very sweet, and I think this could turn into a “Princess Bride,” a film that people grow very passionate about with time.

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