Movies: The Brothers Bloom

This 2008 offering from Rian Johnson is some parts Wes Anderson and some parts Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Which is to say it's cute and bears little to no weight.

Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo are the titular brothers (named Bloom and Stephen respectively). They're con men doing the usual "last job," which in this case is to mark lonely but extremely wealthy Penelope (Rachel Weisz). They script an adventure for her that, given her isolated existence, amounts to the time of her life. Of course Bloom falls in love with Penelope and things get complicated. Except not really because this is a fairly straight forward little movie that moves quickly from location to location, plot point to plot point. The romance was inevitable.

I enjoyed The Brothers Bloom for what it was though it did not command all of my attention and I ended up spending a fair amount of time playing on my iPhone. The cast does a fine job and the production design is somewhat whimsical, which is the overall tone of the film as well. There is a suggestion of having tried for something meaningful—talk of the "unscripted life" and hints of childhood trauma and abuse—but the movie overall leans away from that, away from darkness and toward light. It's as though they wanted you to be able to watch on two levels: just for fun, or fun + deep. But the "deep" here isn't plumbed very far.

In the end, a cute little gem of a film if you like that sort of thing.

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