Friday, June 26, 2009

The Brothers Bloom (Rhoades)

Hold onto Your Wallet With “The Brothers Bloom”

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

I love movies about con men and their slight-of-hand games. “The Sting.” “Confidence.” “The Grifters.” “Matchstick Men.” “Deception,” “The Spanish Prisoner,” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.”

Don’t you?

Perhaps there’s a bit of larceny in all our hearts.

“The Brothers Bloom” – the indie film about a couple of swindlers pulling off one last score – is currently playing at the Tropic Cinema.

Starring Mark Ruffalo and Oscar-winner Adrian Brody as the brothers Bloom, the film tells of their attempt to con a rich woman played by another Oscar-winner, Rachel Weisz.
The film starts off with two orphan boys going door-to-door to pull off a scam.
As the twig is bent … and all that ... we jump forward to see the grown-up confidence men who, having enjoyed a licentious career, are now ready to pack it in.

But Stephen (Ruffalo) convinces Bloom (Brody) to go out in grand style with one last swindle, this time bilking a woman named Penelope (Weisz) out of a bundle by pretending to be art dealers.

Okay, so that doesn’t go as planned, but being clever crooks they come up with a variation on the scheme.

Now, thinking they are art smugglers, Penelope winds up with them in Greece, then Prague, and finally Mexico. Along the way, one of the brothers falls for her. This is a no-no in the world of con men, falling for the mark.

Writer-director Rian Johnson says he wanted to create a character-based con-man movie with an “emotional payoff” while sticking to the expected structure of the genre: a con-man movie with two guys with one girl, where one of them falls for the girl. That way he could deviate from the classical ending by giving it a big twist.

When writing the script, Johnson says his main influences came from watching “The Man Who Would Be King” and “Paper Moon.”

Mark Ruffalo was originally cast as Bloom, but switched roles because his personality was a closer match to the character Stephen.

Adrian Brody signed on because he liked the script’s “originality and subtlety.”

Rachel Weisz has been down this road before, co-starring with Edward Burns in that twisty confidence movie called, uh, “Confidence.”

Also in this film you’ll find Robbie Coltrane as The Curator and Maximilian Schell as Diamond Dog.

One online blogger summed it up perfectly: “Films show us people acting a part written for them and the director tries to reflect this story in reality as closely as possible, but there is nothing real. The audience is the mark. The idea is to get our money. The most successful con is one where everyone gets what they want and the same is true with films.”

No, you won’t complain “The Brothers Bloom” conned you out of the price of a ticket.
[from Solares Hill]

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