Broken Flowers ****

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“Broken Flowers” is a movie that sort of flew under the radar at the time of it’s release. People were high on Bill Murray coming off his Oscar nominated performance in “Lost In Translation”. I guess they were expecting more of the same. Here Murray plays an aging bachelor who is content to live his life as a sort of blank. He has loved a lot of women, but does not seem to have the energy to make it in to a real relationship.

As the film opens, his latest girlfriend is packing up and leaving. His reaction is a mix of muted disbelief and relief. At the same time he receives an anonymous letter from a person claiming to be a former lover. She says that he fathered her child but decided to not tell him until now. She also says that the child is now looking for him and may or may not show up at his door.

Murray’s neighbor, played by the always terrific Geoffrey Wright, is obsessed with detective stories and vows to piece together the clues and help Murray find out who this letter is from. Murray really couldn’t care less. When Wright puts together some possible names and plans out a trip for him, he reluctantly agrees. The film then follows Murray as he visits some former girlfriends and he slowly discovers some of the possible futures he could have had with them.

Murray is amazing in this role and it is a shame that he was not recognized by any of the guilds or movie awards shows. This performance is as good, if not better than his performance in “Lost In Translation”. Don is the characters name, and he has lived his life in a manner in which he is attached to nothing. He could die at any moment and it is doubtful anyone would even notice. I think his journey makes him fully realize this fact.

The director and writer is Jim Jarmusch fills the screenplay with lots of colorful characters who all get some great dialogue to work with. It is interesting to see the different women he visits as they could not be more different. it is almost as if they represented different moments in his life. Each women reacts to him in unexpected ways. Sharon Stone in specific hasn’t been this good in y ears.

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