Last night, Mekaela and I watched The Brothers Bloom.
The Brothers Bloom is about two con artists, Stephen and Bloom (Mark Ruffalo and Adrien Brody). Bloom is unhappy and ready to quit the life, but Stephen convinces him to go along with one more job. Their mark? An eccentric shut-in billionaire named Penelope (Rachel Weisz).
In no way does the summary I just wrote at all capture the whimsical, meta tone of this story. I’m a huge fan of meta whimsy . . . in fact, Meta Whimsy is now my new imaginary band name . . . but I really wanted to watch The Brothers Bloom for two reasons:
1. Rian Johnson wrote and directed it. (Rian Johnson also wrote and directed Looper and Brick. Looper is fairly cool. Brick is kind of the best.)
2. Mark Ruffalo stars in it, whilst wearing a hat.
Look, I never said I’m not shallow. I like men in hats. I can’t lie about this.
Ultimately, I liked The Brothers Bloom. Unfortunately, I had a good idea where the movie was going before it even started (freaking spoilery youtube comments — I just wanted to watch the trailer, dammit), so I’m not sure if I picked up on all the foreshadow because it was obvious or because I knew where to look. Regardless, I think it’s a pretty clever movie, witty and kind of refreshing. I really enjoyed the tone and just the general aesthetics of this film. It is, if nothing else, not like most con movies you’re going to watch.
It does lose steam, though, somewhere in the third act. I like where the movie actually ends, and the story feels complete — which is a welcome change to most movies that suffer from a problematic third act — but somewhere in the last 30-45 minutes, the pacing starts to suffer under possibly one too many . . . I don’t know, it’s not even quite twists and turns, but . . . something. I know the exact moment when the movie starts to falter, but I’m not entirely sure how I’d choose to fix it.
Still, I had a fun time watching this one and — like Brick — would probably come to like and appreciate it more and more on repeat viewings.
Also, Bang Bang (Rinko Kukuchi) is pretty awesome.
Bloom: “You don’t understand what my brother does. He writes his cons like dead Russians write novels, with thematic arcs and embedded symbolism and shit.”
Bloom: “Eat your waffles, fat man.”
Stephen: “That’s my new favorite camel.”
The Curator: “Your smile is the sun, ma cherie. And fallen men, we need the sun.”
Stephen: “Tastes like tinfoil.”
Stephen: “The perfect con is one where everyone involved gets just what they wanted.”
Penelope: “I think a little real danger might suit me, so if you three want to join my smugglers gang . . . you know, I’ll consider it.”
Stephen: “I’m not thrilled they set this in Mexico. There could be legitimate reasons, but — and I don’t like to simplistically vilify an entire country — but Mexico’s a horrible place.”
Rachel Weisz. She’s great in this movie — I’d love to see her do more comedy.
“There is no such thing as an unwritten life, just a badly written one.”
2 thoughts on ““You Were the Only Audience I Ever Needed.””
What was the exact moment it started to falter? I have a couple of possible candidates in mind, and I’m curious as to which one, if any, it was for you.
I found the first ten minutes or so, with the kids (and Young Stephen was Max Records from Where The Wild Things Are! Love that kid.) was the best part of the movie. Individual moments like the hobby montage or things Bang Bang did aside.
Penelope was just like a socially awkward version of Chuck from Pushing Daisies.
For me, it falters right after Mexico. I kind of loved the whole scene where Stephen faked getting shot and Penelope discovers the squib, but when she goes back home and three more months pass . . . I think the movie struggles from then on. It’s not like I didn’t like individual scenes, and I really like the final shoot-out and the ending in general, but the pacing feels off, like they added one too many complications in there that didn’t belong.
I really liked Young Stephen. Haven’t actually seen Where the Wild Things Are yet.