Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Brothers Bloom - 2008

DVD Review

I’m currently doing a Potluck Movie Pick with the gang over at Anomalous Material. Red set up a great idea where we all nominate movies from the Netflix instant catalog and then everyone is assigned a movie they have not seen.

Chris at Casta La Vista picked my movie for me, The Brothers Bloom. I remember seeing the trailer for this movie awhile back. It has three actors I love: Mark Ruffalo, Adrian Brody and Rachel Weisz. How could it not be great? However, it did seem to have a stylized kind of look to it and I thought it could go either way. I figured I would wait to see if it had good buzz. Well, it basically came and went.

In trying to find the negative aspects of this film, I will say that maybe people found it too slow paced and the settings a bit confusing. Certain settings and the characters’ clothing, made it appear that this film was set in the past. However, they had backpacks, cell phones and karaoke. It’s chance you take when you do something so stylized. A narrator and comic-book like graphics can be a real turn off to an audience. I, though, loved the look and feel of this movie and none of these aspects bothered me. Unfortunately, I guess there wasn’t wide enough appeal at the box office.

Stephen (Ruffalo) and Bloom (Brody) play the Bloom Brothers. Orphaned at a young age, the two brothers bounce from foster home to foster home. Ruffalo, as the older brother, hates this life and resents the other children and the carefree lives they flaunt so innocently. Brody, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to fit in and live a normal life. The constant for Stephen (Ruffalo) is his love for his younger brother. He wants nothing more than to give him what he wants. At a young age, he begins to concoct “cons” and finds he’s quite good at cheating people out of their money. Bloom (Brody) comes alive in cons because it allows him to pretend he has a completely different life. This lifestyle works for Bloom (Brody) for awhile, but it’s still not the true, honest, quiet life he craves. He desperately wants out of the con-man life, but Stephen, who loves it all, keeps pulling him back in. In typical con-movie fashion, he convinces Bloom to do one last job, to heist the very rich and very lonely Penelope ( Rachel Weisz).

Weisz is simply adorable! She lights up the screen and is creatively crazy with intelligence. Audiences rarely get female characters in these types of films that aren’t insipid and unbelievably idiotic. Penelope may be the Bloom Brothers “mark,” but she’s no dummy. In addition, Rinko Kikuchi as Boom Boom, is very cool, powerful and in control of her fate at all times.

The driving force of the story, though, is the relationship between the brothers. Mark Ruffalo once again turns in a fabulously believable performance. As I’ve said before, he makes it look so effortless that I think people take his talent for granted. Brody plays off of him effectively and you can feel his angst in loving his brother, yet desiring a normal, criminal-free lifestyle. It’s hard not to be touched by their deep affection for each other. Stephen strives for nothing more than to make his baby brother happy.

By the end of the film, I felt more attached to the characters than I realized. I had a fun time hanging out with The Brothers Bloom and I hope more people will check this film out. Thanks Chris!


Chris said...

Really glad you enjoyed this - it has been one of my highlights this year. I found the film to be wonderfully romantic and whimsical and loved the fact that it felt like a thirties/forties escapade in the present day.

Completely agree that Weisz is nothing short of adorable in this movie - I've always rated her and I this movie just went to further what I already knew.

Let's hope you enjoy the next movie you get as much (see AM for my thoughts on your movie!)

Dan said...

I really enjoyed this one. And Rachel Weisz is fantastic - her career best performance for me.

ruth said...

Unfortunately I can't participate on the dvd potluck for now, too many in my queue I haven't even got around to seeing. I've heard good things about this movie, I might check it out one day. Y'know, I don't think I have seen too many Mark Ruffalo movies... if you have to recommend an essential viewing, what would it be?

Colleen said...

Hi Ruth! I think two films highlight his early work well.
You Can Count On Me &
My Life Without Me
I do think he'll get a Oscar nom for his performance in this summer's The Kids Are All Right.
Don't worry, my Netflix queue always hovers around 500!