The Brothers Bloom are the best con men in the world, swindling millionaires with complex scenarios of lust and intrigue. Now they've decided to take on one last job - showing a beautiful and eccentric heiress the time of her life with a romantic adventure that takes them around the world.
Brothers - older Stephen and three years junior Bloom - have been con artists since they were kids. Stephen is the mastermind, for who the intricacy of the story used in the con is as important as the positive outcome of the swindle. Bloom is the main character of Stephen's stories, the character he considers the anti-hero. As adults, they travel the world and never enlist the same people twice in their cons, except for their consistent sidekick, the mysterious and primarily silent Bang Bang, a Japanese woman who just appeared in their lives one day and who has a penchant for blowing things up. As Bloom hits his mid-thirties, he wants to quit the business as he is losing his own identity to that of the characters he portrays; he doesn't know anymore what is real and what is make-believe. Stephen talks him into one last con, the mark to be the eccentric, lonely but beautiful New Jersey heiress, Penelope Stamp. Penelope's primary past-time in life is to, as she calls it, "borrow hobbies... Written by
Rachel Weisz's sister in real life, Minnie, is a curator and photographer. In this film Rachel refers to herself as an 'epileptic photographer" and Robbie Coltrane plays a curator. See more »
When the Brothers Bloom first visit Penelope's castle, they are driving a Cadillac Seville. Bloom asks Bang Bang, "This a '78 Caddy? Controversial choice." The car is actually a 1983 Seville, whose bodystyle was built from 1980-1985. See more »
As far as con man stories go, I think I've heard them all. Of grifters, ropers, faro-fixers; tails drawn long and tall. But if one bears a bookmark in the confidence man's tome, it would be that of Penelope, and of the brothers Bloom.
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Conning Linguists: The Brothers Bloom In a summer full of dumber than dumb spectacle, and subtext free action porn "The Brothers Bloom" is a breath of fresh air.
With wit, warmth, and beautiful settings galore the film creates a delightfully wacky alternate world full of whimsy, romance, and adventure.
At the beginning of the film we meet two orphaned brothers, Stephen Bloom (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom Bloom (Adrien Brody). From the age of 10, the brothers are con-artists, always spinning yarns and creating characters, inventing new and increasingly elaborate ways of separating their mark from his money while also giving him exactly what he wants in life. Everything changes when Bloom decides to get out of the game and Stephen lures him in for one last swindlea beautiful and quirky millionaire (Rachel Weisz) who yearns for a taste of adventure.
The Brothers Bloom is the second feature from writer/director Rian Johnson. He previously took the indie world by storm with his award winning debut, "Brick". As with "Brick" Johnson again takes elements of several fallow genres and remixes them into something that feels both new and old all at once. The result is nothing short of magical. The characters pop off the screen and the dialogue and images loop back in on themselves making winking references that are sure to inspire fits of giggles from anyone who stayed awake during AP Lit. But, even if you don't recognize the title as a Dostoevsky reference, the film is sure to entertain.
At the center of it all is Brody who is tasked with playing the straight man during the film's increasingly convoluted comic twists and turns. Perpetually at his side is Ruffalo, who has great fun playing the off the wall, yet always-sincere idea man who writes his schemes the way Russians write novels. The chemistry between the duo is infectious. It's like the two have known each other for their entire lives. They could not look less similar, and yet one never questions their bond.
Weisz is absolutely electric as the object of Brody's affections and the subject of Ruffalo's confidence game. She plays the kind of bubbly, strange woman that really only exists in movies but imbues her with a quiet sadness that grounds the entire picture and ensures that the more surreal elements never take too much of a hold on the film.
Though there is only one large-scale explosion, "The Brothers Bloom" demands the big screen treatment. It was filmed all over Europe and South America and the locations are used to great effect. These aren't sound stages, and it really makes a difference. Every shot is impeccably framed, it's as if Hal Ashby shot "The Sting".
The film is not for all tastes. It requires attention from the viewer, and plays at a leisurely pace compared to many films currently in theaters, and some of the more action oriented beats don't quite gel with the rest of the film, but for those who can appreciate a story that gives itself room to breath, and for those willing to forgive the overly long third act, there is plenty to love.
Most of the movies coming out over the next few months are simply product, attractive, eye catching, and ultimately little more than 90 minute advertisements for the sequel. Not so with "The Brothers Bloom." If you've got a girlfriend and you owe her a decent date movie you can't do much better than this. If you have a boyfriend and you don't want to make him suffer through "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" this is a great choice. If you've already seen all the action spectaculars, here's something else to see. Or, you know, if you just like good movies
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