The Brothers Bloom, Rian Johnson (2008)

50% House of Games, 40% The Royal Tenenbaums, 8% E la nave va, 2% Harold and Maude, which last is a kind of honorary degree for having Cat Stevens on the soundtrack and an oddly 70’s kind of wistful loveless free-love “vibe.” Is it great? No. But it is a pleasure to look at, and it’s one of those films where you can tell that everyone involved was having a lot of fun. It probably took them all day to do a one-second shot of Rachel Weisz on a twelve-foot unicycle. You’ve kind of got to love that. Frankly, I’d wish Johnson would’ve tried less hard to make the plot make any sense. It doesn’t — at ALL — and there’s no reason it needs to: finally it’s just a distraction from what’s really on offer here, which is the sensibility. Wes Anderson understands this; young Mr. Johnson (b. 1973!) has lots of time to learn it. Still, he should be proud. This is a stylish little picture which I can see being big in France — ah! of course — it’s another 15% Jules and Jim!

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