The Brothers Bloom
Autumn 2009 Features series
Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 4:00pm
Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 7:00pm
Directed by Rian Johnson
Screenplay by Rian Johnson
Starring Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz, Rinko Kikuchi
Rated PG ·
English, French, Czech, Japanese
The titular (and so-called) brothers are Stephen (Mark Ruffalo –Reservation Road, Blindness) and Bloom (Adrien Brody – The Pianist, Darjeeling Limited), two orphans who bonded in childhood over their naturally “persuasive” talents. By the time they are adults, they have established themselves as highly skilled con men with a fail-safe formula: Stephen is the “head,” with a knack for creating elaborate plots, and Bloom is the “heart,” charged with playing the part of the front man. Bloom is as empathetic as Stephen is driven, however, and wants to quit after every assignment. Stephen finally implores him to do one more job – one so sweet it cannot be refused – agreeing to dissolve the partnership upon its completion. Enter Penelope (Rachel Weisz – The Constant Gardener, My Blueberry Nights ), an innocent, lonely New Jersey heiress, excited at the prospect of accompanying the two brothers on an adventure.
The trio sets off by train, boat and caravan to numerous destinations around the world, joined by the brothers’ usual sidekick, the mute, explosives-obsessed, fashion-forward Bang Bang (memorably played by Rinko Kikuchi of Babel). Affection blossoms between Bloom and Penelope, even as the wheels start falling off Stephen’s convoluted scheme.
The Brothers Bloom is a visual delight, harking back to classic road movies and giving design nods to everyone from Salvador Dalí to Wes Anderson. Ruffalo and Brody are utterly believable as brothers, and despite her varied career, Weisz may never have created so warm and intelligently sexy a character.