The Brothers Bloom (2008) Poster

The Brothers Bloom (2008)

  • Rate: 6.9/10 total 22,657 votes 
  • Genre: Adventure | Comedy | Drama | Romance
  • Release Date: May 2009 (Romania)
  • Runtime: 114 min
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The Brothers Bloom (2008)

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  • IMDb page: The Brothers Bloom (2008)
  • Rate: 6.9/10 total 22,657 votes 
  • Genre: Adventure | Comedy | Drama | Romance
  • Release Date: May 2009 (Romania)
  • Runtime: 114 min
  • Filming Location: Bar, Montenegro
  • Budget: $20,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $3,519,627(USA)(2 August 2009)
  • Director: Rian Johnson
  • Stars: Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo
  • Original Music By: Nathan Johnson   
  • Soundtrack: Begin the Beguine
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Con | Eccentric | Plan | Book | New Jersey

Writing Credits By:

  • Rian Johnson (written by)

Known Trivia

  • Rachel Weisz was the first actor to sign on to the film.
  • Rachel Weisz learned how to play piano, violin, accordion, and break-dance, to juggle, do karate, play Ping-Pong, banjo, unicycle, and even skateboard for her role as Penelope.
  • Tom Cruise is credited with special thanks in regards to the film due to his initial interest in the film that led to a lengthy 3 hour meeting with Rian Johnson. Cruise’s analysis of the script led to a few significant changes of the key elements of the script. As this meeting occurred precisely the same day Cruise’s company was taken off by Paramount, Rian felt this was a more than generous act on Cruise’s behalf. However, due to scheduling conflicts as well as other factors, Cruise could never be a serious consideration for one of the lead roles.
  • Rian Johnson lists The Sting and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels as key inspirations for the film. More unconventionally, the legendary concert film The Last Waltz also influenced his writing process, to the point that The Brothers Bloom contains a multitude of references to The Band. During initial discussions with Mark Ruffalo, Johnson clarified that he wanted to capture a particular ’70s folk rock vibe, envisioning Stephen as Robbie Robertson.
  • Rian Johnson always intended Rinko Kikuchi’s role as Bang Bang to be silent.
  • Out of the quartet of caperers, Rian Johnson found the character of Bang Bang the most fun to write. Bloom was the easiest, and Penelope was the most difficult because he wanted her character to transcend the sum of her quirks, despite having the most personal connection to her. Johnson has also admitted to wishing he could be Stephen.
  • The three main characters are based on characters from James Joyce’s “Ulysses” (which in turn is based on Homer’s “Odyssey”). Stephen is based on Stephen Daedalus, a restless young writer in two of Joyce’s novels; in “The Brothers Bloom”, Stephen plans their cons with a writer’s flair. Bloom is based on Leopold Bloom, who is wandering around Dublin, trying to find himself and his way back to his wife. In The Brothers Bloom, Bloom is figuratively looking for himself, and ultimately finds his way to Penelope. In “The Odyssey”, Penelope is Odysseus’ wife who waits for him through all of his travels; likewise, here, Penelope awaits Bloom through his wanderings.
  • Bang Bang says only three words in the entire film, not counting the karaoke she does.
  • Early in the film a character says, “The man named Charleston you met nine months and a thousand years ago at the hotel bar in Jodhpur is dead.” to which Stephen later says “That’s Kipling, isn’t it? He stole that from Kipling.” This is in reference to Rudyard Kipling’s “The Man who Would Be King”. In the film adaptation (The Man Who Would Be King), there is a line spoken by Michael Caine, saying he is “The same and not the same – who sat beside you in the first class carriage on the train to Marwar Junction; three summers and a thousand years ago…”, but the line does not appear in the original short story.
  • Penelope’s quote, “A picture is a secret about a secret. The more it tells, the less you know” is actually a quote by acclaimed American photographer Diane Arbus (1923-1971). The biographical film Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, featured Nicole Kidman as Arbus, one of the 20th century’s most revered photographers. Incidentally, “arbus” is Russian for “water melon”, which might explain why one gets turned into a camera by the Penelope character.

Plot: 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. Full summary »  »

Story: 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…Written by Huggo  

Synopsis

Synopsis: The film opens during the childhood of the orphaned protagonists, Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrien Brody). Stephen, the older of the two by 3 years, instigates various acts of dishonesty and mayhem, while younger brother Bloom is content to play along with the shenanigans. The brothers’ unrepentant mischief making causes their constant eviction from one foster home to the next. This prologue is narrated by magician Ricky Jay, foreshadowing the film’s later focus on card tricks and sleight of hand.

After 38 different foster families, the brothers are transferred to a close-knit small town filled with friendly children their age. Bloom begins to long for the comfort of a normal and honest social life, and develops a crush on one of the girls there, although he is too shy to approach anyone, and therefore keeps his feelings inside. Stephen notices this however, and realizes he can use his brother’s interest in the children to create a role for his brother to play so he may befriend the children, and help them execute their first con.

Stephen has Bloom convince his new friends that a mysterious old hermit told him of a cave that contains a magical whippoorwill. The hermit, Bloom claims, will reveal the location of the cave for $30. The children believe the story, he collects $30 among the group members, and they venture out to the cave. Stephen hides inside the cave just out of their sight, waving a lantern to hint at the magic whippoorwill just out of sight. The excited children run toward the light. Bloom, caught up in the moment runs too, but catching sight of his brother, remembers the con and becomes disheartened. The other children however are gleeful as they run through the muddy cave. Later, however the fuming parents of the hoodwinked children confront the brothers’ foster parents. The boys return the $30, and are returned to the orphanage for larceny. However they end up profiting through the con’s true target: they take a cut of the profits made by the town’s lone dry cleaner who benefited by cleaning the muddy clothes of the bamboozled children.

The film picks up 25 years later with the brother’s latest con. At a party celebrating the successful end of it, Stephen celebrates as Bloom wanders into a quiet room contemplating his dishonest life, one that seems to lack substance. He is playing solitaire when a young woman named Ruth arrives and begins flirting with him. Bloom explains that the reason he and Stephen’s cons work so well is because they include symbolic themes and hidden associations, which trick the mind into recalling old memories, which the brothers use to their advantage. She tries to kiss him but Bloom gets up and walks away. He tells her that Stephen arranges everything perfectly, even that Ruth had been set up to want to kiss him. Bloom goes outside to get some air. Stephen comes out of the bar and the two walk through a Berlin Zoo. Outside of the camel cage, Stephen discusses the fake blood on Blooms suit (commenting on the one flaw: that fake blood doesnt turn brown after thirty minutes like real blood) but Bloom doesnt want to hear it. Bloom tells Stephen that he’s tired of conning people and not living the way he wants to. He wants an unwritten life which he can’t have if Stephen keeps coming up with the scripts to the cons. He tells Stephen he loves him and leaves Stephen in the zoo. He makes good on his recurring threat to leave the con business, and he moves to Montenegro.

Three months later Stephen finds him and asks Bloom to help execute one final con. The two will masquerade as two antique dealers and, along with their associate Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi), a Japanese explosives expert, will con a rich, socially-isolated New Jersey heiress named Penelope Stamp (Rachel Weisz). Bloom reluctantly agrees to the scheme, and the three travel to New Jersey to meet Penelope. The Brothers rent a Cadillac and go to the house and spy on it through binoculars and a telescope. Just then a canary yellow Lamborghini roars up the winding driveway and crashes into a statue. Out steps Penelope. Bloom changes his mind and doesnt want to con her because she is a woman, and Stephen had long ago promised that they would never con a woman. Stephen tells Bloom the con is designed to give Bloom what Bloom really wants, and tells him how its going to play out while Bloom watches Penelope play a song by The Clash on a harp. The plan is for Bloom to meet Penelope through a staged car accident, where she will hit him while he rides a bike. A few days later, Penelope is driving her Lamborghini down the street when Stephen and Bang Bang send Bloom down a hill on a bike right into the car. The plan fails however, when Penelope accidentally suffers a seizure after hitting the bike, injuring herself instead of Bloom.

After Penelope is discharged from the hospital Bloom drives her home and the two talk over tea. Bloom initiates the conversation by describing how his brother and he grew up to be antique dealers. Penelope keeps losing focus and snoring with her eyes open, which prompts Bloom to change the subject and ask about Penelope’s past. Penelope explains that she was a shut in for most of her life because doctors thought she was allergic to everything. She later found out she was only allergic to the needles used for the test, but before she could leave her house and enjoy the world, her mother became ill. She tells Bloom how she "collects" hobbies; hearing about them, then studying them until she has mastered them. She has developed many unusual talents ranging from juggling chainsaws, making pinhole cameras, playing the harp, guitar, and banjo, deejaying, riding a unicycle, and making origami. Penelope asks if she will see him again and Bloom tells her that he and his brother are leaving the country by ship the next day, and will be gone for at least 3 months.

The next day, Bloom, Steven and Bang Bang are at the docks preparing to board a steamer bound for Greece. Bloom expresses doubts as to whether he hooked Penelope, but a few seconds later she crashes her car near the port. Unharmed, Penelope says hello and tells Bloom that she wanted to repay him and seeing the ship decides she will be joining them on their trip. She reasons that it looks fun and that she wants to see the world. Bloom introduces Penelope to Bang Bang and Stephen. The group enjoys themselves on the cruise and they play various games. Aboard the ship that night a Belgian man, Maximilian "The Curator" Melville (Robbie Coltrane), hired by Stephen, sneaks up on Penelope and tells her that the Brothers Bloom are not antique dealers, but are in fact antique smugglers. The four arrive in Greece, where Melville, as instructed by Stephen, offers Penelope a fake smuggling job of retrieving an ancient book from a hidden chamber in a museum in Prague, for an Argentine collector. Penelope convinces the Brothers to travel to Prague with her, unaware that this is all planned and staged. Bloom is upset that the smuggling business has gone straight to Penelopes head. She even goes so far as to make a smugglers flag. Stephen tells Bloom to let her have her fun. On the train, Bloom sees Penelope and Bang Bang stealing snacks from the porter. Upset that Bang Bang is encouraging Penelope, he separates the two. Bloom and Penelope sit in a cabin as Penelope drinks the gin that she stole. A lightening storm begins and Penelope explains that she loves thunderstorms! She begins to moan and roll around on her bed, then blurts out that she is horny. Bloom instantly leaves, quickly wishing her a good night.

In the bar car, Stephen receives a telegram from their old mentor, Diamond Dog. Apparently, Diamond Dog and the Brothers Bloom had a falling out which resulted in Stephen cutting out one of Diamond Dogs eyes. He tells Bang Bang to send a message back: If you feel the need to lose the other eye, you’re welcome to. Stop. Love The Brothers Bloom. He then burns the telegram he just read.

They arrive in Prague the next day, and meet again with Maximilian. He tells them that as middlemen they must buy the book from him for a million dollars and then they can have it to sell to the collector for 2.5 million. The Curator asks Penelope for the cheque, and tells her to come back tomorrow for the book. When they return the next morning, the Curator’s apartment is empty. He appears to have gone and taken the money with him. Stephen and Bloom tell Penelope to give it up as a lost cause; however, she decides that they should steal the book themselves. Bloom doesnt want to do it, but Penelope is insistent. The group hatches a plan to steal the book.

The plan is for Bang Bang to place some explosives in the Prague Castle which are small enough to only set off the fire alarm and make everybody evacuate the building. However, Penelope accidentally puts the remaining brick of plastic explosive in the wrong bag. When Bang Bang clicks the pen/trigger, an entire tower is destroyed, resulting in the military being called in. Penelope, unaware of the military presence, enters the museum nonetheless. She retrieves the book but messily tries to escape through a ventilation shaft, which gives out under her weight and drops her into a room filled with armed soldiers. The Brothers Bloom and Bang Bang watch as she is driven away in the back of a police car – which stops just past them and lets Penelope out. No-one can figure out what she said to convince them that she was there for legitimate reasons.

Later that evening in the Prague hotel, Bloom is sitting at the bar, drawing a picture of Penelope. As he is sketching from memory, their former mentor, but current enemy, Diamond Dog (Maximilian Schell) appears. He warns Bloom that since Stephen won’t be around to help him with the cons forever, Bloom should join him. Bloom turns down the offer and it is implied that he loved Bloom in a physical sense the way he begins to touch his leg. As Diamond Dog advances on Bloom, Stephen arrives and smashes a bottle on the counter and cuts Diamond Dog’s hand with it. The Brothers make their exit.

The party travels to Mexico for the conclusion of the con. Bloom and Penelope develop their relationship further. Bloom is legitimately in love with her. When they arrive in Mexico, Bloom acts on his feelings and tells Penelope she is being conned, and that it was led by Stephen. He takes her to get her money from Stephens room, but Stephen is waiting for them in a chair. He tells Bloom that he is disappointed. A fight develops between Stephen and Bloom and a gun is accidentally knocked down and discharged. Stephen appears to be shot and is dying in Bloom’s arms. Penelope checks out the wound and realizes that it’s fake blood and that she is being conned again, and leaves with a broken heart.

Three Months Later Penelope is writing a letter on her veranda and clicks her pen. Her mansion explodes and she walks away. She travels to Montenegro to find Bloom. Penelope wants to run a con because she thinks it will be fun. Bloom is shocked and upset. He finds out that Bang Bang gave Penelope her cell number and helped to find him. Not able to deny his love for her, he meets with Stephen to set up one final con to end it all, for Penelope’s sake.

The brothers set off to St. Petersburg for their final con. It involves selling the book to the Russian mob which includes all of them getting ambushed and killed. Bloom is to get shot helping Penelope escape. To pull this off, Stephen is forced to hire Diamond Dog to assist them, since he is the leader of the only Russian mobsters willing to deal with con men. They expect to make $1,750,000 off Penelope.

The plan goes awry however, when they are ambushed by Diamond Dog’s Russian gang while headed for the initial exchange. They are shot at and the car is run off the road, They hit a tree and narrowly escape before the car explodes. Bloom passes out just as figures approach. When Bloom comes to, he is told by Penelope that Stephen is missing, however they do find his notebook. The notebook contains a ransom note asking for $1.75 million.

The two of them meet with Bang Bang in a parking lot. Bloom confronts her about what is going on. He asks if this is part of Stephens con, but she just looks sad as she shakes his hand and gives him a farewell note. She appears to get into her car, which immediately explodes.

Penelope transfers the funds to the kidnappers.

They are told to go to an old burned out theater. Bloom enters with Penelope waiting for him outside in the car. He is surrounded by darkness. A spot light snaps on and Bloom finds Stephen tied up and beaten severely. Stephen tells him not to move since the gang is calling to see if the money was wired through. Bloom sees a shadowy figure standing behind Stephen who raises his gun and points it at Stephen before shutting off the light. Bloom points his own gun at the man and fires several times. A fierce gun battle occurs between the two until Bloom is bathed in light by a hole in the ceiling, giving the Russian the upper hand. Stephen tackles Bloom out of the way, taking a bullet to the gut in the process. Before Bloom can chase the assassin, Stephen succumbs to his injury, goes into a seizure and collapses on the floor. A horrified Bloom asks Stephen whether this was real, or just the "perfect con." Stephen jumps up and tells Bloom it was all a con. Stephen then tells Bloom to think of a card out of a deck. Stephen reveals the Queen of Hearts and Bloom responds with "That’s the best card trick I’ve ever seen," fulfilling a pseudo-prophecy made by Stephen earlier in the film. Stephen tells Bloom to go, and leave St. Petersburg forever with Penelope and that they’ll "meet again sometime." Stephen hugs his brother, covering Bloom in blood, and Bloom leaves the theater.

Bloom and Penelope drive away in the car and Bloom falls asleep. When he wakes up they have left Russia behind them. However, Bloom notices that Stephens blood stain on his shirt has turned from red to brown. The blood is real. Bloom, realizing what actually happened, breaks down on the side of the road while Penelope is trying to comfort him. The scene changes back to Stephen, who is dragging the chair to the center of the stage. Still bleeding from the gunshot, he slowly sits down, pushes the Queen of Hearts up his sleeve (suggesting he knew what card Bloom would be thinking about), and dies. Penelope tells Bloom what Stephen once told her, "That there are no such thing as unwritten life. Just a badly written one." She tells him that they’re going to live like they’re telling the best story in the whole world. As they’re leaving, Bloom reminisces about another thing Stephen had once told him, "The perfect con is one where everyone involved gets just the thing they wanted." For Penelope and Bloom, what they wanted was life with each other, while for Stephen it was to write a con so perfect it became real, and, like their first con, left everyone involved happy in the end. Bloom and Penelope drive off into the distance as the sun sets.

 

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Ram Bergman known as producer
  • Matthew J. Birch known as co-producer
  • Douglas Hansen known as executive producer (as Douglas E. Hansen)
  • Wendy Japhet known as executive producer
  • Tom Karnowski known as co-producer
  • James D. Stern known as producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Rachel Weisz known as Penelope
  • Adrien Brody known as Bloom
  • Mark Ruffalo known as Stephen
  • Rinko Kikuchi known as Bang Bang
  • Robbie Coltrane known as Curator
  • Maximilian Schell known as Diamond Dog
  • Ricky Jay known as Narrator (voice)
  • Zachary Gordon known as Young Bloom
  • Max Records known as Young Stephen
  • Andy Nyman known as Charleston
  • Noah Segan known as The Duke
  • Nora Zehetner known as Rose
  • Ram Bergman known as Himself
  • Craig Johnson known as Apple Cart Vendor
  • Dubravko Jovanovic known as Albino
  • Esme Tyler known as Young Girl
  • Jovan Vitas known as Young Boy
  • Ana Sofrenovic known as Charleston's Wife
  • Vladimír Kulhavý known as Chief of Police
  • Alek Rodic known as Snack Car Attendant
  • Josif Tatic known as Oafish Foster Father
  • Slobodan Custic known as Foster Dad
  • Branka Pujic known as Foster Mom
  • George Bocchetti known as Excited Boy
  • Elis Derham known as Excited Boy
  • Didier Dell Benjamin known as Party Guest (uncredited)
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt known as Bar Patron (uncredited)
  • Lukas Haas known as Bar Patron (uncredited)
  • Stefan Kapicic known as German Bar Owner (uncredited)

..

 

Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Ljiljana Andjelkovic known as hair assistant
  • Ljiljana Andjelkovic known as makeup assistant
  • Vidosava Biro known as hair stylist (as Vida Jaksic Biro)
  • Vidosava Biro known as hairdresser: Serbia (as Vida Jaksis Biro)
  • Sarka Hanzalova known as hair stylist: extras, Czech Republic
  • Sarka Hanzalova known as makeup artist: extras, Czech Republic
  • Graham Johnston known as hair designer
  • Graham Johnston known as makeup designer
  • Dana Kohoutova known as hair stylist: extras, Czech Republic
  • Dana Kohoutova known as makeup artist: extras, Czech Republic
  • Natasa Krstic known as make-up and hair assistant: Serbia
  • Lorna McGowan known as hair stylist
  • Lorna McGowan known as hair stylist: Serbia
  • Lorna McGowan known as makeup artist
  • Lorna McGowan known as makeup artist: Serbia
  • Nijaz Memisi known as hair assistant (as Nijaz Memis)
  • Nijaz Memisi known as makeup assistant (as Nijaz Memis)
  • Simona Merlusca known as assistant makeup artist: Romania (as Simona Merusca)
  • Miljana Pakic known as hair assistant
  • Miljana Pakic known as makeup assistant
  • Mihaela Radu known as assistant hair stylist: Romania
  • Vesela Sabljic known as hair assistant
  • Vesela Sabljic known as makeup assistant
  • Alena Sedova known as hair stylist: extras, Czech Republic
  • Alena Sedova known as makeup artist: extras, Czech Republic
  • Lidija Skorucak known as hair assistant (as Lidija Skocruak)
  • Lidija Skorucak known as makeup assistant (as Lidija Skocruak)
  • Martina Subic-Dodocic known as hair stylist (as Tina Subic)
  • Martina Subic-Dodocic known as makeup artist (as Tina Subic)
  • Cristina Urma known as assistant hair stylist: Romania
  • Dusica Vuksanovic known as hair assistant
  • Dusica Vuksanovic known as makeup assistant
  • Neill Gorton known as special makeup effects artist (uncredited)
  • Graham Johnston known as makeup artist: Rachael Weisz (uncredited)
  • Charlotte Scovill known as special makeup effects artist: United States (uncredited)

Art Department:

  • Milan Aleksic known as carpenter
  • Dejan Andjelkovic known as assistant set decorator
  • Milija Andjelkovic known as construction buyer
  • Slavisa Andjelkovic known as carpenter
  • Uros Andjelkovic known as carpenter
  • Zlatko Andjelkovic known as carpenter
  • Daniele Auber known as storyboard artist (as Daniel Auber)
  • Zivorad Balaban known as laborer (as Zika Balaban)
  • Rodoljub Biocanin known as carpenter
  • Dora Boariu known as set decorating greenery: Romania
  • Miodrag Bogosavljevic known as assistant prop buyer
  • Roger Bowles known as senior draughtsman
  • Radomir Brajevic known as carpenter
  • Mina Buric known as assistant set decorating coordinator
  • Slobodan Cadjo known as stand-by carpenter
  • Branka Cetina known as set decorating coordinator
  • Novica Cvetkovic known as carpenter
  • Oliver Cvetkovic known as carpenter
  • Bosko Delic known as storeman
  • Jovica Dimov known as set dresser
  • Zoran Dimov known as set dresser
  • Vesna Dinic known as assistant property master
  • Miroljub Djokic known as carpenter
  • Stamenko Djokic known as carpenter
  • Dragan Djordjevic known as carpenter
  • Gojko Dragas known as carpenter
  • Veronica Falzon known as assistant to production designer
  • Fabio Fioretti known as plaster foreperson
  • Dave Fisher known as property master
  • Idriz Hodzic known as laborer
  • Vladimir Ivanovic known as sculpturer
  • Dragic Jancic known as carpenter
  • Zach Johnson known as illustrator/notebook artist
  • Bojan Jovanovic known as carpenter
  • Dejan Jovanovic known as carpenter
  • Dragan Kaplarevic known as props storeman
  • Naeim Khavari known as storyboard artist
  • Nebojsa Krainovic known as carpenter
  • Luke Krnjaja known as laborer
  • Uros Lalicki known as graphic artist
  • Mladen Lisavac known as assistant art director
  • Vladimir Ljubic known as on-set assistant property master
  • Svetislav Madic known as chargehand set dresser
  • Tonci Maglica known as carpenter
  • Vladimir Maric known as painter
  • Vlasto Maric known as painter
  • Jevgenije Markovic known as carpenter
  • Radoslav Mihajlovic known as construction manager (as Rade Mihajlovic)
  • Vladimir Milanovic known as lead person
  • Vladimir Milanovic known as prop buyer
  • Dobrica Milosevic known as carpenter
  • Goran Milosevic known as chargehand set dresser
  • Vladan Milosevic known as carpenter gang boss
  • Uros Milovanovic known as storeman
  • Steve Mitchell known as scenic artist
  • Miroslav Mraz known as construction: Czech Republic
  • Ljubomir Mrsovic known as carpenter
  • Srdjan Nedeljkovic known as storeman
  • Bosko Nikolic known as painter
  • Negovan Nikolic known as carpenter
  • Vojta Oulicky known as prop buyer: Czech Republic
  • Zeljko Pasic known as carpenter
  • Milan Perisic known as carpenter gang boss
  • Dragan Petkoski known as carpenter
  • Sveta Petkovic known as carpenter
  • Boza Petrovic known as carpenter
  • Dragovan Petrovic known as draper
  • Gligorije Petrovic known as carpenter
  • Zoran Petrovic known as lead person
  • Milica Popovic known as art department runner
  • Justin Quinnell known as pinhole photography
  • Jovan Radomirovic known as carpenter
  • Miodrag Sasa known as carpenter
  • Bozidar Savic known as carpenter
  • Stanisa Savic known as painter
  • Slavoljub Spasic known as carpenter
  • Branko Stankovic known as carpenter
  • Ivana Stefanovic known as construction coordinator
  • Ivana Stefanovic known as storyboard artist
  • Branislav Bane Stevanovic known as assistant art director (as Branislav Stevanovic)
  • Caslav Tesic known as carpenter
  • Dan Toma known as on-set propman: Romania
  • Aleksandar Tosic known as carpenter
  • Milos Vitas known as laborer
  • Matija Vucicevic known as paint foreperson
  • Matija Vucicevic known as paint gangboss
  • Velisa Vukojcic known as sculpturer
  • Mija Vuksanovic known as laborer
  • Bojan Vulovic known as painter
  • Ivan Vulovic known as stand-by painter
  • Sasa Vulovic known as painter
  • Spaso Vulovic known as painter
  • Dragan Kaplarevic known as buyer (uncredited)
  • Scott Nifong known as property master (uncredited)

..

 

Company

Production Companies:

  • Endgame Entertainment
  • Ram Bergman Productions
  • Weinstein Company, The

Other Companies:

  • Behind the Scenes Freight  shipping by
  • CE VideoAssist Rental  VideoAssist equipment provided by
  • Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  dollies
  • Cine Finance  completion guarantor
  • Cine Jessy  extras casting: Czech Republic
  • Cinecitta Cucena Italiana  catering
  • De Moss Productions  production services: Romania
  • Eurocargo  shipping services
  • Filmka Stunt Film  stunts: Czech Republic
  • Firehouse 12 Studios  score recorded at
  • Fluid  additional music recording
  • Gastrom International  catering: Romania (as Gastrom)
  • Glenwood Place Studios  score mixed at
  • Hollydan Works  location services
  • Hollydan Works  studio production
  • Hothouse Music  additional music clearance (as Hot House Music)
  • ID Public Relations  publicity
  • Intersped-B  shipping by
  • Kentauros Media  production services: Romania
  • Littlebox Studios  strings recorded at
  • Louisiana Media Services  post production services
  • Modern VideoFilm  digital intermediate
  • Panavision  camera equipment serviced by
  • Partnership Pictures  production services: Czech Republic
  • Reder & Feig  production legal services
  • Ripsped, Montenegro  shipping by
  • Sessing Music Services  additional music clearance
  • Sonic Magic  sound post-production
  • Soundtrack  ADR Facility (as Soundtrack Boston)
  • Studio Areta  additional music recording: Serbia
  • Studios  production consulting
  • Technicolor  release printing
  • Tenas Group  international production services
  • Tenon Group  international production services
  • Work in Progress  production services: Serbia and Montenegro
  • Zet Catering  catering: Czech Republic

Distributors:

  • A-Film Distribution (2009) (Benelux) (theatrical)
  • Alfa Films (2009) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • Golden Village Pictures (2009) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Noble Entertainment (2009) (Sweden) (theatrical) (16 mm)
  • Optimum Releasing (2010) (UK) (theatrical)
  • Senator Film (2009) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • Summit Entertainment (2008) (USA) (theatrical)
  • A-Film Home Entertainment (20??) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Culture Publishers (CP) (2010) (Japan) (DVD)
  • Deltamac Entertainment (2009) (Hong Kong) (all media)
  • Film1 (2011) (Netherlands) (TV) (limited)
  • Future Film (2009) (Finland) (all media)
  • IPA Asia Pacific (2009) (Thailand) (all media)
  • Media Pro Film Distribution (2009) (Romania) (all media)
  • Midget Entertainment (2009) (Denmark) (all media)
  • Noble Entertainment (2009) (Sweden) (DVD)
  • Noble Entertainment (2009) (Sweden) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Odeon (2009) (Greece) (all media)
  • Palace Pictures (2009) (Czech Republic) (all media)
  • Palace Pictures (2009) (Slovakia) (all media)
  • Paris Filmes (2009) (Brazil) (all media)
  • Prisvídeo – Edições Videográficas (2009) (Portugal) (all media)
  • SND (2008) (France) (all media)
  • Seville Pictures (2008) (Canada) (all media)
  • Summit Home Entertainment (2010) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Transeuropa Video Entertainment (TVE) (2010) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • West Video (2009) (Russia) (all media)

..

 

Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Vulcan Effects (special effects: Czech Republic)
  • Stingray VFX (visual effects)

Visual Effects by:

  • Renee Aldredge known as drs operator: Modern VideoFilm
  • Hunter Athey known as animator: Stingray VFX
  • Johnathan R. Banta known as model/texture artist: Stingray VFX (as Jonathan Banta)
  • Roger Ames Berger known as additional visual effects: Modern VideoFilm
  • Roger Ames Berger known as iq artist: Modern VideofFlm
  • Derek Bourque known as visual effects compositor
  • Chadd B. Cole known as iq artist: Modern VideoFilm (as Chad Cole)
  • Steve Cummings known as cg supervisor: Stingray VFX
  • Thomas Dadras known as technical director: Stingray VFX
  • Enid Dalkoff known as compositor: Stingray VFX
  • Charles Ellison known as model/texture artist: Stingray VFX
  • Kent Estep known as digital effects supervisor: Stingray VFX
  • Kristopher Gregg known as digital imaging: Modern Videofilm (as Kris Gregg)
  • Nancy Hyland known as compositor: Stingray VFX
  • Alex Jackson known as model/texture artist: Stingray VFX
  • Pency Kinnard known as compositor: Stingray VFX
  • Casey Leming known as electronic graphics: Modern Videofilm (as Casey C. Leming)
  • Michael Maker known as tracking/integration: Stingray VFX
  • Shira Mandel known as compositor: Stingray VFX
  • Charlene Mason known as tracking/integration: Stingray VFX
  • Dave McCarthy known as drs operator: Modern VideoFilm
  • Nicole Montemayor known as visual effects coordinator: Stingray VFX
  • Kevin Moseley known as compositing supervisor: Stingray VFX
  • Andrew Mumford known as compositor: Stingray VFX
  • Gerald Reed known as visual effects compositor
  • Gerald Reid known as visual effects compositor
  • Jonathan Robinson known as compositor: Stingray VFX
  • Ira Shain known as animator: Stingray VFX
  • Ron Simonson known as visual effects supervisor
  • Ed Thompson known as digital imaging: Modern VideoFilm
  • Sarma Vanguri known as technical director: Stingray VFX
  • Steve Yedlin known as additional visual effects: Modern VideoFilm
  • Pouya Zadrafiei known as model/texture artist: Stingray VFX
  • Veronika Lerchová known as digital dailies: UPP (uncredited)

Release Date:

  • Canada 9 September 2008 (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • Canada 15 September 2008 (Atlantic Film Festival)
  • Canada 18 September 2008 (Cinefest Sudbury)
  • USA 23 September 2008 (Austin Fantastic Fest)
  • Spain 26 September 2008 (Donostia-San Sebastian International Film Festival)
  • USA 27 September 2008 (San Diego Film Festival)
  • United Arab Emirates 10 October 2008 (Middle East International Film Festival)
  • USA 11 October 2008 (Mill Valley Film Festival)
  • USA 16 October 2008 (Chicago International Film Festival)
  • USA 17 October 2008 (Hamptons International Film Festival)
  • UK 27 October 2008 (London Film Festival)
  • USA 22 November 2008 (St. Louis International Film Festival)
  • USA April 2009 (Newport Beach International Film Festival)
  • USA 22 April 2009 (Independent Film Festival of Boston)
  • Romania May 2009
  • USA 15 May 2009 (limited)
  • Canada 22 May 2009 (Toronto)
  • Sweden 22 May 2009
  • Netherlands 28 May 2009
  • Canada 29 May 2009 (Québec)
  • Israel 4 June 2009
  • Malaysia 4 June 2009
  • Greece 11 June 2009
  • South Korea 18 June 2009
  • Singapore 25 June 2009
  • South Africa 3 July 2009
  • India 10 July 2009
  • Finland 31 July 2009
  • Belgium 5 August 2009
  • France 5 August 2009
  • Luxembourg 5 August 2009
  • Monaco 5 August 2009
  • Morocco 5 August 2009
  • Tunisia 5 August 2009
  • Bulgaria 14 August 2009
  • Germany 27 August 2009
  • Hong Kong 27 August 2009
  • Taiwan 12 September 2009
  • Slovenia 17 September 2009
  • Serbia 23 September 2009
  • Mexico 3 October 2009 (Morelia Film Festival)
  • Chile 8 October 2009
  • Russia 8 October 2009
  • Brazil 9 October 2009
  • Czech Republic 15 October 2009
  • Lebanon 15 October 2009
  • Mexico 16 October 2009
  • Argentina 22 October 2009
  • Angola 5 November 2009
  • Hungary 5 November 2009
  • Portugal 5 November 2009
  • Australia 12 November 2009
  • Slovakia 10 December 2009
  • United Arab Emirates 10 December 2009
  • Colombia 11 December 2009
  • Venezuela 25 December 2009
  • Uruguay 1 January 2010
  • Kuwait 7 January 2010
  • Japan 4 June 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • UK 4 June 2010

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for violence, some sensuality and brief strong language

..

 
 

Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database


The Brothers Bloom (2008) Related Movie


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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , , .

10 Comments

  1. tritisan from Mill Valley, CA
    30 Mar 2012, 3:22 pm

    What a wonderful surprise: Yesterday my sister calls me and tells methat there's a new film by the director of Brick, playing at the MillValley Film Festival. "I'm there!"

    Even before we get in the theater, I know we're in for a differentexperience. A pair of toughs with metal detectors wave us down forhidden cameras and demand we turn our cell phones off. I'm surprised wedidn't have to take our shoes off. Endgame Entertainment certainlydoesn't want any leaks.

    Once inside, the director, Rian Johnson, shows up just before the showstarts, fresh off a flight from Abu Dhabi no less. He gives a shortinterview with Mark Fishkin (long time director of the festival),coming off as a very charming, self-effacing, funny and unpretentiousfellow. I like him immediately. Hollywood has not corrupted him (yet).

    Like Tarantino, Johnson has closely studied films and makes constantreferences and nods to The Classics, especially from the 40s and 50s.Unlike Tarantino, Johnson writes more original stories and has goodtaste and far gentler sensibilities. Obvious influences include: WesAnderson, The Cohen Bros, Billy Wilder, John Huston.

    The film itself? Instant classic. It's got all the elements you couldwant in a Hollywood-style movie: Charming characters, plot twists, tonsof gags, an incredibly beautiful leading lady, sumptuous sets andlocations, and an overall sense "gee-whiz-isn't-this-fun!"

    And it's classy, too. It doesn't resort to needless, sensationalist sexand violence. The writer respects and honors the audience'sintelligence, a all-too-rare occurrence these days.

    You could tell that the actors had a blast with the sometimes subtle,sometimes slap-stick script, relishing their characters' quirks andfoibles.

    Overall, Brothers Bloom almost manages perfection. It's one fault liesin the resolution, the last 5 minutes where it's tone abruptly changesfor darker. Without giving anything away, I feel that it was tooheavy-handed, considering the generally light and wacky spirit that hadpredominated. The rest of the audience seemed to feel the same way,given the hushed mood as the credits rolled. If the producers have analternate ending up their sleeves, I suggest they use it, even it hasto be somewhat ambiguous.

    Otherwise, I'm happy to contribute to the positive buzz. I really thinkBrothers Bloom could be a huge hit, even a timeless classic.

  2. Andrew DiMonte (NoArrow) from My House, Canada
    30 Mar 2012, 3:22 pm

    "The Brothers Bloom" is a movie stock full of great ideas that itexecutes without any apparent knowledge of what makes a movie work.It's filmed in some of the most beautiful places in the world andcaptures them blandly. It's step-by-step full of great con-games thatwe don't care about. It's got one of the most interesting heroines inyears that it ultimately leaves to the side, unaware of how to use her.It's constantly suggesting great artists (Melville, Dostoevsky) andit's opening act – a Ricky Jay-narrated history of the Brothers Bloom'shumble beginnings – promises greatness. But the movie doesn't deliver.

    The story: Mark Ruffalo and Adrien Brody started conning as children,and never stopped, and now, as adults, they're locked together like thesiblings in "Les Enfants Terribles," only capable of inhabiting theirown world of deception and whimsy. Ruffalo's the head and likes it thatway and Brody's the heart and wants out, wants to find happinesssomewhere else, in the "unwritten life." Ruffalo sets up One Last Jobfor the two of them, and the mark is Rachel Weisz (the heroine), areclusive millionaire and collector of hobbies. As this is a con-movie,any further explanation is unnecessary.

    Rian Johnson, the film's director and director of "Brick," has finetaste, as he flaunts constantly, but his movies are an argument thatgood taste does not a great artist make. Like the lowliest imitator, hewants to do something like his favorites, but he hasn't put muchthought into why those movies worked on him. "The Big Sleep" has theperiod dialogue, the shadows and all that, but it's great because ofthe chemistry, the mood, what's happening under the surface. "Brick"has no mood, it's all surface, all words and cinematography, a trulyempty film. With "The Brothers Bloom," Johnson is trying to make "TheSting" by way of Wes Anderson, the French New Wave (and a little DavidMamet), but mostly misses the comedy of Anderson, the style of the NewWave and doesn't even come close to the metaphysical suspense of aMamet film.

    For instance: Ruffalo has a sidekick/girlfriend played by RinkoKikuchi. Her name is "Bang Bang" because she likes explosives, and shedoesn't speak a single line of dialogue. This alone is gimmicky enough,an easy way of forging a Character without thinking for a second whoshe might be. The movie explains she just up and appeared to theBrothers one day, and will disappear, one day, in the same fashion. Soshe's an almost supernatural character, I guess, but to what purpose?Quirkiness? Kikuchi eats up the attention in any scene she's in, simplybecause we want to know more about her, but Johnson insults her and theaudience by keeping her a prop, like the hamburger phone in "Juno." Inone Emotional Montage at the end, she sings, which would be a greatmoment in a better movie but here is handled so off-the-cuff andcasually we just sort of shrug it off. A couple short scenes later shedisappears into thin air in front of Brody, so we think, that was it?And then she pops up again, to do nothing, and disappears again.Johnson doesn't seem to be thinking at all.

    But he might fool you. The dialogue is finely-honed, but too much so,it becomes awkward, clunky, speaking to ideas Johnson hasn't completedrather than ones the characters are having spontaneously. The moviereally, really wants to be as dialogue-driven as a Mamet movie butfalls short in its excess of artifice and complete lack of wit. Thatsaid, Brody, Weisz and Ruffalo create likable characters simply byappearing on screen; they're all such great actors we're almost happyenough just to watch them have some fun. Weisz especially, hereccentric is so convincing at times it makes the movie's shortchangingher so much more troubling. Her character is built up to have a mysteryabout her, something intriguing seems to lie beneath the surface, butas it goes on we sadly realize that's more to do with Weisz's skill andless to do with Johnson's writing.

    The plot keeps going and going and going, the movie feels twice as longas "The Dark Knight" and about a quarter as interesting. There's a con,and then there's another con, and then another, and they're all prettywell thought-out except that the outcomes don't mean anything to usbecause Johnson hasn't spent enough time figuring out who hischaracters are, and what we want for them. Brody is frustratinglyineffectual, and Ruffalo convinces us he knows all the answers, he justnever tells us what they are. Robbie Coltrane and Maximilian Schell popup, Schell with an eye-patch and a drama-class-level costume, and donothing.

    And then there's the last revelation, and the ending, which could'vebeen beautiful and poignant, if only Johnson had any idea how to takeus there. He doesn't. His head's in the right place, he just needs touse it more, and – most importantly – discover his heart. Not a badmovie, just not one worth seeing.

    6/10

  3. jaredmobarak from buffalo, ny, usa
    30 Mar 2012, 3:22 pm

    While the complete polar opposite of Brick, Johnson left the DashiellHammett prose and instead decided to delve into Wes Anderson territory.His The Brothers Bloom is a smart, witty adventure that takes someunexpected turns on its journey, never lets a detail fall intoobscurity, and shows that if nothing else, he is a high caliberstoryteller that should be around for a long time, not rehashing thesame thing over and over again, but churning out refreshingly new andunique yarns to entertain and enlighten.

    This tale is about a duo of con men—the best in the world—who reuniteto do one last job. The younger, Bloom, has been playing the roleswritten by Stephen since they were children, always embodying thecharacter so easily because it allowed him to be that which was nothimself. After having fallen in love with too many marks, only to watchas they swindled and left them out to dry, Bloom is ready to quit andgoes into self-imposed exile for three years until his partner findshim and rounds him up for one last big score. That score involves aneccentric shut-in, a woman who has never left her mansion and collectshobbies in order to entertain herself. A master with a deck of cards,juggler extraordinaire, harp player, and ping-pong champ, amongst otheractivities, there is little she does not know. This epilepticphotographer is anxious to go off on an adventure and opening up to theBrothers Bloom is her perfect opportunity to do so, and their bestchance at an easy million dollars.

    What the men did not account for was her inexhaustible sense ofenthusiasm and uncanny knack for the con game. Getting herself out ofsituations that the brothers can't even fathom and catching on tothings so quickly, it's as though the mark becomes the professional,however, that is exactly Stephen's plan. She is a woman ofintelligence, beauty, and unique without compare. Penelope is exactlythe girl that Bloom has been looking for, but of course, she isdiscovered in one of Stephen's stories, accessible only until they mustcut her loose. Yet, here comes the first "what if" of the film. What ifour orchestrator has concocted this all for Bloom, a con on a grandscale in order to give him the life he always wanted? Bloom does saythat Penelope feels just like one of Stephen's characters, but as hesays in his defense, "the day I con you, is the day I die." We can onlyhope those words don't become prophetically true.

    Johnson weaves an intricate shell game for his characters to roamthrough, crossing paths, discovering secrets, telling lies, andpossibly conning each other. No one truly can tell what's real becausenot only are they unsure themselves, they know that every one of themhas the potential to make-up an elaborate scheme to confuse andmanipulate. Ruffalo is the true artist at this game, crudely drawing upa plan of attack in brainstorm bubble trees, thinly veiling his taleswith inside jokes that a woman like Penelope (Weisz) is well-informedenough to see through, yet too naïve to put together. Straight from thestart, a childhood narrated by Ricky Jay, these boys have gotten whatthey wanted and planned to perfection. Trained by the nefarious DiamondDog, the men, (Brody portraying the other, Bloom), have eclipsed theirmaster and took the world by storm. Along with their pyrotechnics guruBang Bang, (Rinko Kikuchi) and a select cast of regular actors (RobbieColtrane as the Belgian and a great string of cameos in a bar sceneearly on with Nora Zehetner, Noah Segan, and ablink-and-you'll-miss-him Joseph Gordon Levitt all showing some Bricklove), the boys always get what they want. Ultimately attempting tocreate the perfect con—so well planned out and airtight that it happensall by itself—this con becomes reality and everyone gets exactly whatthey wanted.

    The Brothers Bloom is told in a storybook fashion with bright colorsand in-focus frames. Johnson jam-packs each composition with detailupon detail, never shying away from having an important plot pointoccur in the background, behind a conversation or action by our leadsat the forefront. Most times they are jokes, lending some levity to thesituation, one that becomes ever more dark as the charade goes along;unexpectedly dark, yet perfectly so. His use of humor infuses a heartinto the proceedings and a true bond and relationship between Stephenand Bloom, two men that learn to hate each other at the end of a job,but always come to the others help when needed at the start. You mustbe diligent to the environment surrounding our actors, as it is just asmuch playing a role as they, helping a truly bold and intricate storybe disguised as a simple one. Very slight on first appearance, it isthe fact that it's so well told that makes it seem simpler than itreally is. Without any bloated superfluities or weakly handledtangents, this tightly woven tapestry lives on its own at a breakneckspeed, culminating with a spectacular final twist, an end that had beenbuilding up right from the start in that bourgeois playground duringthe boys' foster home placement. The Brothers Bloom look out for eachother and never let the other down, no matter what damage it may causeto themselves. In the end, they do it all for their brother, anythingthey can to make the other's life a success.

  4. Scott-101 from arlington, va
    30 Mar 2012, 3:22 pm

    The Brothers Bloom, dir. Rian Johnson-The film had some very goodelements: -The visual look was terrific. I wasn't sure if it was aperiod piece or it was set in the late 2000's, because there was adefinite lack of cell phones and other modern day aparatuses in theframe. It was very retro, yet very much in the present -Rachel Weiczwas such a fascinating character. How could a woman that beautiful andrich be so lonely? Weicz manages to pull it off. An absolutely amazingperformance and kudos to her for learning all those talents (apparentlyshe had to learn all those talents) -Some of the dialogue wasexceptional. Penelope's speech about reinventing her life and refusingto see her loneliness as a weakness was definitely thought-provoking.

    At the same time, the film on the whole didn't make any sense. It wastoo many twists to the point where you just didn't care what was goingon screen because none of it was real and there wasn't much suspense toconvince you that the film might have been heading in any otherdirection. It would have always made more sense for Adrian Brody'scharacter to just marry Penelope and inherit her fortune.

  5. MisterWhiplash from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 3:22 pm

    The Brothers Bloom starts off with a bang of cinematic energy. We'reintroduced, by a kind of whimsical narrator not unlike one might haveremembered from Pushing Daisies, to the brothers, Stephen and Bloom, aschildren in a town where everything is one-note: one group of kids, onestore, one this or that. Stephen, the more inventive one of the duo (orrather, the one that will whip up a plan with a quirk or two not unlikeOwen Wilson in Bottle Rocket), devises the first con to be that ofintriguing the hell out of a group of kids- first part introducingBloom to a girl, which he likes right away- and then leading to a cavethat tricks them all into believing something is there which, ofcourse, is not.

    This entire section, about five to ten minutes, is a brilliant shortfilm, self-contained within itself and donning the kind of energy that,again, can be comparable to Wes Anderson. This is not to knock RianJohnson as an original talent. He is. But for anyone that's seen any ofAnderson's films, specifically Bottle Rocket and Rushmore and LifeAquatic, this is that kind of speedy intro that includes very precisepans and movements with the camera and facial expressions that markthis as something, well, "different". This also appears to be how therest of the story will pan out, this distinctive, acute and stylishendeavor of film-making, as the brothers, grown up (Adrien Brody asBloom, Mark Ruffalo as Stephen) are continuing with their cons untilBloom wants out, leading up to the typical "one-last-con" deal where-inthey'll con a reclusive New Jersey heiress Penelope (Rachel Weisz) whohas way too much time on her hands as well as money for the taking.

    Then there's the complications, of romance between Bloom and Penelope,and the complication that she's let in on Stephen and Bloom being"artifact smugglers", then the appearance of a certain nefarious figureknown as "Diamond Dog", and meanwhile their Silent Bob figure, BangBang (Rino Kikuchi), tags along as someone who we only find out late inthe game of the story that she has a cell phone (?) and can makeorigami at just the right moment.

    All of this makes The Brothers Bloom sound quite plot driven, not tomention the ups and downs and twists and turns of the cons that happen,or don't, between the brothers, Penelope, the revelations, etc.Depending on the viewer, and how much they'll want to believe or,frankly, how many movies they've seen of this type (one could see thisas being a slick parody of a film like 2003's Confidence, alsoco-starring Rachel Weisz if memory serves), it's like followingmagicians doing work, not believing a thing or believing everything. Orsome of it, perhaps. It's almost like the Prestige if it didn'tactually want the audience to believe in magic. More that Johnson wantsthe audience to make the distinction between characters who draw theirown reality and can't seem to break out into their own "unwritten"roles.

    And yet, for all the story's twists and turns, its strengths are in thecharacters. It's actually, not too unlike Anderson (again, sorry), moreEuropean influenced in that regard as it takes us along on its journeybecause of the characters, not the other way around. This helps sincethe characters all work with their respective players, more or less.More because of Adrien Brody and Rachel Weisz, who play off each otherwonderfully as an at-first awkward couple who get further romanticallyinvolved (there's a wonderful, spot-on charming scene where we see themkiss, and we understand clearly Penelope is having her firstFrench-style) and connect closest with how Johnson casts them. Lesswith Ruffalo, who grew on me as the film went on, mainly towards theend (his last scene, without spoiling much, is a keeper for hisextended reel), since he's meant to be conniving and devilish butdoesn't really fit in even as he's good at delivering the lines andcountering Brody and Weisz.

    The other way it's also European is that it's meant to be, and is, adirector's tour-de-force. As the sophomore effort of Rian Johnson,after his first very impressive debut Brick (which, I should note, alsotooled playfully with conventions of a genre as he attempts here), he'saiming quite high. The only problem that I encountered with it wasthat, perhaps by some proxy of the script, it takes a lot to really getemotionally wound up with these people.

    The style of his camera, the tricks of his editing, are like cons inand of themselves, but there's (apologies for this over-used word)quirks to the proceedings that deflate some scenes that would work muchbetter in straightforward terms (I may have been the only one rollingmy eyes at the "knickname" for Bang Bang being Yuengling with the line"Yuengling, like the beer?"). Sometimes this excess-of-style workswell, like when we flash through all of the "hobbies" Penelope does inher countless spare time at her mansion. Other times, sad to say, itjust calls attention to itself without being cool-hip ala Ocean'sEleven or warm-hearted ala (one more time) an Anderson picture.

    And yet, for the gripes I might have had, it's impossible for me toignore what Johnson has shown here and in Brick. He delivers characterswe want to watch and situations that unfold with diverting,entertaining results, even as one might never fully believe what willhappen next. Or maybe we do. He's a director that isn't going away, andto me this is a good thing. That's no con. 7.5/10

  6. laraemeadows from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 3:22 pm

    The Brothers Bloom unwinds the story of two confidence men, an Asiansidekick and their rich but isolated mark. The Brothers Bloom is acharming off kilter dramedy about love.

    Bloom (Adrien Brody) and his brother Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) work asconfidence men with their explosive sidekick Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi).Tired of the life, Bloom tells his brother he's done. His brother talkshim into one final con against Penelope Stamp (Rachael Weisz.) Penelopeis a rich, eccentric shut-in who has yet to live. They take advantageof her loneliness in a scam meant to satisfy her need for adventure.

    Rian Johnson sees the world in The Brothers Bloom the way an archerfish sees bugs. The archer fish hunts bugs above the water's surface byshooting water at the bug from below the water line. When looking upfrom underneath everything looks like it is one place but actually isin a slightly different place because water refracts light, changingthe view for the submerged. The archer fish has to see things slightlycockeyed in order to get the archery right. Rian Johnson took aslightly crooked approach to get the cinematic physics just right.

    Penelope Stamp is the Robin Hood of cinematic archer fish. Everythingabout her life, her development, and her emotions are delightfully offbalance. She isn't brilliant but she had dedicated herself to learninghow to do many strange and obscure things. It wasn't good enough forRian Johnson to make Penelope interested in pinhole cameras (a cameramade by putting a piece of photo paper in a light-tight container andpoking a pin hole in it to expose the paper), it had to be a pin holecamera made of a watermelon. Johnson made sure Penelope is beautiful,but by casting Weisz, made her an interesting beauty.

    It isn't just the nature of the characters, but also how they talk.Johnson commits so fully to this strange-ified world, that dialoguethat would warrant a call to the loony bin in real life, seems naturalin the world created in The Brothers Bloom.

    The downside to making the characters fit so naturally in their worldis jokes or emotions that might resonate deeply in our world sometimesfall a little flat in The Brothers Bloom. There are no gut bustingjokes but occasionally the audience finds themselves chuckling. Cheekswill not be soaked in tears, but occasionally a frog may find way intothe throats of the viewers.

    The Brothers Bloom is an endearing quirk-filled film sure to whisk theaudience away on a flying crime filled love carpet.

  7. RCSPs3 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 3:22 pm

    Rachel's role, Penelope, in The Brothers Bloom is far from herOscar-winning effort in The Constant Gardener, but she elevates herrole putting herself on par with Tessa Quale. Weisz steals the showhere in a fun, energetic, elaborate tale, The Brothers Bloom.

    You'll be bouncing out of you seats watching this film. The script isabsolutely hilarious, the director moves fast keeping the materialalive, and the performances are classy and strong, but what guides TheBrothers Bloom (besides Weisz, of course) is the explosive editing.It's hyperactive, but not obnoxious. It's cool , fun and hip.

    Like I've stated before, Weisz steals the show. Her character Penelopeis one of the most memorable and well-written characters in recentmemory and Weisz is up to the challenge of taking on that role. She'sthe most interesting character so you immediately take a liking to her.She's so adorable as the bright, lovely character, but the great thingabout her performance is underneath all that lies great sorrow.

    The rest of the performances aren't too shabby either. Adrien Brody isvery good and convincing but it over-towered, by the other morecolorful characters. Mark Ruffalo is charming and a ridiculous ball offun. Rinko Kikuchi has almost no lines, but still gets big laughs.

    There are dazzling visuals including some gorgeous costumes and setdesigns. This is a very funny film. Top that with the amount of energyand entertainment throughout, you're in a for a fantastic thrill ride.Not to mention the glorious performances, especially form themagnificent Rachel Weisz. A delightful thrill ride and the best comedyof 2009; 9

  8. Chris Price from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 3:22 pm

    This may be my first review of a movie for IMDb. Can't remember if itis or it isn't but the point is I don't normally feel compelled towrite about movies on this website. I had the pleasure of seeing thismovie in advance at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles thisFebruary. I had not yet seen Rian Johnson's previous film Brick, sogoing in I had no biased opinion about the director or any expectationsabout what I was going to see. Basically what I saw was a movie thathad a great story to tell. And it knew it, so it acted accordingly. Idon't think going into detail about the events in the movie will doanyone any good, so I'll stick to a vague approach here. The movie hasa similar vibe to Wes Anderson's work, but only in a purely superficialsense. The plot is of the "caper" mold and concerns two sibling con menand their virtually mute sidekick on a quest to trick rich people outof a lot of money. The actors are all first rate. Adrien Brody isessentially the lead, but Mark Ruffalo and Rinko Kikuchi round out themain group of characters. That is, until we meet the real star of thismovie. Rachel Weisz has always been great in everything I've seen herin, but she commands the screen in this movie like I've never seenbefore. I'd put her on an early shortlist for Best Supporting Actressat next year's Oscars. Ultimately this movie made such a strongimpression on me because of how well her character worked for me andthe strong chemistry she had with Adrien Brody. I strongly recommendyou avoid details about this movie in order to get swept up by thiswonderful story, like I did. This is a must-see.

  9. loneduck from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 3:22 pm

    Like Brick, much of Rian Johnson's new film The Brothers Bloom isfilled with crackerjack storytelling, snappy dialogue, andextraordinary visual panache. Unlike Brick, most of these arts aredevoted to making us laugh, and the first 1/2 to 2/3rds of the movieare very funny indeed, and well worth seeing.

    But there's an ambiguity established while we're enjoying ourselves: isthis movie fundamentally about the Brothers Bloom, or about their lastcon, an eccentric, beautiful young heiress named Penelope Stamp? Sure,the movie is named for the Brothers, but not only was the scriptoriginally titled Penelope, Penelope's quirky character also stillbrims with so much mystery and potential for surprise in the finishedfilm that one can't help but wonder if the resolution of hercharacter's journey won't place the spotlight firmly on her.

    Alas, it does not. Somewhere between Act IV and Act V, the focus shiftsfirmly back to Stephen and Bloom, leaving at least one major mysteryabout Penelope (how she talks herself out of a major jam in Prague)unresolved.

    Not that Penelope is the only one with major mysteries left unresolved.I would've liked to have known why two brothers named Stephen and Bloomwere collectively referred to as the Brothers Bloom. Does that meanBloom's full name is Bloom Bloom? Given that another character's nameis Bang Bang, I suppose it's not beyond consideration.

    In the final analysis, though I definitely wanted to know more aboutthe resolution of the Prague caper, movies can use more, not lessunresolved mystery. But what's unavoidably disappointing about thefinish of the Brothers Bloom is the feeling of lost potential asPenelope is pushed off center stage and relegated to a supporting rolefor the last part of the movie.

    Stephen says a couple of times that everyone gets what they want in theperfect con, but this con didn't give me what I wanted.

    All that said, I'll still be lining up for tickets ASAP when Johnson'snext film comes out.

  10. gummydy from NY City
    30 Mar 2012, 3:22 pm

    Great and touching comedy that has probably the best performance byRachel Weisz ever and that's a big thing to say considering the factthat she's great in pretty much everything she does. She simply stealsthis movie and grabs your funny bone with a funny and charmingperformance that will leave you wanting more. Mark Ruffalo and AdrienBrody are also great as the brothers who try to con her and RinkoKikuchi is great as our generations Harpo Marx's and her performance isgreat as well. The ending is a bit out there but the movie itself iswell worth it and will make you think back on what was going on.

    And one more thing, to Lawson from Singapore, Rachel deserves her Oscarfor "The Constant Gardener" and this film solidifies it. She an amazingactress.

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