Monday, 6 October 2014
Broken Flowers (3½ Stars)
Don Johnston, played by Bill Murray, is an ageing gigolo whose latest girlfriend has just left him. On the day of her departure he receives an anonymous letter telling him that he has an 18-year-old son who is looking for him. He didn't know he has a son, and he wants to know who the mother is. Based on the letter's postmark he narrows it down to five of his ex-girlfriends. He sets out on a journey to visit each one of them.
Is this a good film? A bad film? I can't really say. The film is stylish and has a strong sense of purpose, and it seems to be getting somewhere, but in the end -- and I know this is a spoiler -- it gets nowhere. The women are fascinating, each one different from the one before, but apart from the first he visits, played by Sharon Stone, there's no possibility of a romance rekindling. Bill Murray's usual low key acting makes me wonder how he could have been so successful with women. Maybe they only wanted his money.
I can't criticise the film for leaving loose ends, because I know this was deliberate. But it's still unsatisfying.