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Broken Flowers (DVD, 2006, Widescreen)
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Broken Flowers (DVD, 2006, Widescreen)

Jim Jarmusch, Bill Murray, Jeffrey Wright | Theatrical release: 2005 | Rating: R (MPAA)
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Movie synopsis
With BROKEN FLOWERS, staunchly independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch delivers one of his most pleasing, accessible pictures. Winner of the 2005 Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, the film tells the story of Don Johnston (Bill Murray), a man overflowing with wealth but void of emotion. On the day that his most recent girlfriend (Julie Delpy) has given up on him for good, he learns, through an anonymous letter, that he might be the father of a 19-year-old boy. Spurned into action by his wannabe private eye neighbor, Winston (Jeffrey Wright), Don sets off on a personal journey to visit the former partners who may or may not have mothered his child. They include the flighty Laura (Sharon Stone), whose daughter Lolita (Alexis Dziena) certainly lives up to her name; the uptight Dora (Frances Conroy), who has settled into a sterile life with her chipper husband, Ron (Christopher McDonald); the strangely distant Carmen (Jessica Lange), who makes a living as an "animal communicator;" and, finally, Penny (Tilda Swinton), a hard-edged biker who is the least happiest to see Don. Each confrontation leaves Don feeling more lost than the last, spinning him into an even greater state of apathetic confusion.In typical Jarmusch fashion, he wrote the script for BROKEN FLOWERS with his casting firmly in mind: only Murray could play this role. The result showcases Murray's brilliance as a less-is-more presence. Jarmusch also gives some of Hollywood's most talented female actresses roles they can relish. A hundred percent Jarmusch, BROKEN FLOWERS is a wry, tender, and bittersweet portrait of a man who is drifting aimlessly through life.

Product Details
  • Edition: Widescreen
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Rating: R (MPAA)
  • Film Country: USA
  • UPC: 025192847721

Additional Details
Genre:Dramas
Format:DVD
Display Format:Widescreen

eBay Product ID: EPID50317354

Editorial reviews

"BROKEN FLOWERS is a rare film that richly rewards the attention it demands."
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (08/11/2005)

"Murray adjusts his bearing with the tiniest of calibrations, obviously made comfortable by Jarmusch's richly evident confidence in his own shaggy-dog storytelling."
Entertainment Weekly - Lisa Schwarzbaum (08/12/2005)

"With BROKEN FLOWERS, Jim Jarmusch's sly, touching new film, Bill Murray reaffirms his status as the quietest comic actor in movies today."
New York Times - A. O. Scott (08/05/2005)

"[S]oulful....[A film] that offers a lot of pleasure and even a kind of wisdom."
Premiere - Glenn Kenny (09/01/2005)

"BROKEN FLOWERS exudes some of the twinkle-eyed, deadpan humor from LOST IN TRANSLATION....FLOWERS is smartly observational."
USA Today - Mike Clark (08/05/2005)

"[T]his elegant yet accessible film leaves you thinking about and felling for its opaque characters..."
Sight and Sound - Liese Spencer (11/01/2005)

Ranked #3 in Uncut's Best Films Of 2005 -- "[A] stark, funny and deeply moving study of age, memory, loss and love."
Uncut - Uncut Staff (01/01/2006)

"[T]he film is a paean to Murray's unique brand of menopausal bittersweetness."
Movieline's Hollywood Life - Michael Atkinson (01/01/2006)

Reviews & Research

Customer Reviews

Average review score based on 23 user reviews

67%

of customers recommend this product

Rating distributions

Created: 12/08/09

Overly indulgent and for what?

Being a fan of Bill Murray's long list of cinematic accomplishments it is only natural that I be attracted to a film that allows him to deviate from his historical roles that made him a household name. Now, being a devote believer in the phrase "If it ain't broke, don't fix it.", I am not against innovation or people trying new things. Many wrote off Murray the minute he tried "serious", and to a point I can see their revulse. To summarize what Dolph Lundgren once said, "If you do something and you do it well, there is no need to change that." That said, Bill Murray knocks it out of the park and puts the skeptics in their place. He's proven he's a very solid actor, he is capable of depth, and I have no doubt he can carry any type of film he graces. Bill just needs a film more solid and less mundane than "Broken Flowers" to showcase that.

"Broken Flowers" is nearly as depressing as its title. Don Johnston (with a T) is a certified "ladies man", not quite retired despite his age, who recieves an anonymous letter stating he has a 19 year old son searching for his dad. In search of deeper meaning or character development that just doesn't amount to anything, Don sets off on a cross country trip to reunite with his old flames and see who sent the letter. On paper this sounds like the kind of plot device that could leave plenty of room for odd characters, memorable mishaps, fun dialogue, and an ultimate feel good story. It has none.

"Broken Flowers" is not terribly funny nor terribly dramatic. It has bits here and there, some modestly humorous lines pop up, and a couple of saddening scenes thanks to Murray, but as a whole this mess of a film just seems to trudge along. To say it trudges without meaning is unfair, to say it trudges to a dull grave is legit. The story does not satisfy, and the journey the viewer has endured is moot. No character comes out stronger, no morals are established or corrected...it all feels aimless. As with many "indie" or "avant garde" films they attempt to defy status quo so much they forget that the point of a film is first to entertain, and if not, tell a story that concludes or solves a moral dilemna for the characters. If we endure a 100 minute story of depression and awkward situations, and at the end we are back to square one having endures these uncomfortable scenes with no betterment of the character then what's the point?

I really can't recomend "Broken Flowers". Bill Murray shines, but it really is a depressing tale at the end of the day. Nothing is gained, and it's one of those few films I can easily say I wish I hadn't seen, and not because it was a poor film but because I feel genuine depression. Maybe the intent was to play on reality, that in this absurd situation realistically no conclusion would exist, but why make a story of that? I guess I just don't "get it"? But I do "get" dullness, and slow abstract junk, when I see it. Avoid unless Murray's break type role is nagging at your soul.

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Created: 07/13/10

Broken Flowers--Broken is right!

Aside from a few good performances--Jessica Lange's in particular--this film is insufferable. It is one of those stories whose creators seem to be saying to the world "Look how deep I am!" Here we have the story of a zombie-like man (Bill Murray) who receives an anonymous letter from a previous lover who claims to have borne him a son. This man's friend, a detective novelist by trade, is so intrigued by the situation that he plans a whole travel itinerary whereby the Murray character can visit the four possible candidates and solve the mystery. Each of these women is a different experiment in crazy. Ultimately he does not discover the identity of the child's mother and actually is not certain that the letter was ever legitimate in the first place--perhaps just a hoax concocted by his novelist-friend or perhaps by his current girlfriend, who is distraught as a result of her inability to convince him to marry her. So the ending is a big question mark. In a word, this film is anti-climactic. It takes the basic narrative formula and essentially does away with the denouement. I suppose "Broken Flowers" is a fitting title. Come to think of it, that may be the most positive comment I can make about this dog. If you're a fan of self-conscious, drably atmospheric "art" films, you might give it a go. Otherwise, save your money.

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Created: 08/16/06

A good movie... for some.

This is a film that I can easily see how people might simply abhor it. The plot is slow, there is no real ending, there is not a lot of action, etc. The best part of this movie, however, is how the viewer can see how the happenings of the movie reflects their own lives. Bill Murray is an incredible actor, and movies like this and Steve Zissou are wonderful examples of where he has taken his acting ability since his comedy days. It is a sad movie that will leave you thinking about your own past loves and how they have affected your life. Again, it is really hit or miss just based on your personality, but I for one found it to be an incredible film.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 10/08/08

Broken Flowers (2006)

Quirky and bizarre movie with Bill Murray in the title role, about a man who tries to find a son he never knew he had by visiting several of his past loves. With Sharon Stone, a strange looking Tilda Swinton, Jessica Lange. Rated R - with language and nudity.

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Created: 02/12/06

BROKEN FLOWERS

This film brought to mind the far superior 1986 documentary, "Sherman's March," in which filmmaker Ross McElwee retraces General Sherman's path through the South in a story seamlessly interwoven with his personal journey of getting dumped by his girlfriend and reconnecting with women from his past. "Broken Flowers" is an attractive production loaded with talented actors and graced by a delightful soundtrack, but Bill Murray plays the same detached, morally ambiguous character with zero emotional range we have seen in other films, and all four women he encounters on his quest are broadly stereotyped -- neither nuanced nor sympathetic. I give the film credit for telling a reasonably absorbing story without relying on violence or (much) sex to advance the narrative, and I was not troubled by the ambiguity that apparently irked some viewers, but the contrast between this and "Sherman's March" was like seeing a Cezanne still life compared with a paint-by-numbers bowl of fruit.

5 of 17 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

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